display reference manual pages
man [ -a | -f ] [ -bcw ]
[ -d dir ] [ -p pager ]
[ -t proc ] [ -T term ]
[ section ] title
man -e command
man -k keyword
man locates and prints the entry named title
from the designated reference section. For historical
reasons, ``page'' is often used as a synonym for ``entry'' in this
Since UNIX commands are given in lowercase, the title is
almost always entered in lowercase. If no section is
specified, the whole guide is searched for title and the
first occurrence of it is printed. You can search for a group of
sections by separating the section names with colons (:) on the
There are instances where title contains mixed upper and
lowercase letters. The Intro pages are one such example. Others are
to be found in sections covering internal routines such as (S).
man prints a usage message if invoked without any options
man understands the following options:
ALL mode. Incompatible with -f option. Display
all manual pages with matching titles. This option is equivalent to
specifying MODE=ALL in /etc/default/man.
Leave blank lines in output. Entries are normally padded with blank
lines for line printer purposes; without this option, man
filters out excess blank lines and does not display more than 2
consecutive blank lines.
if the display does not support character formatting. Note that
col is invoked automatically by man unless the
terminal (defined by -T term) is one of the
following: 300, 300s, 450,
37, 4000a, 382, 4014,
tek, 1620, or X.
Specify directory dir to be added to the search path for
entries. You can specify several directories to be searched by
separating the directory names with colons (:) on the command line.
-e command ...
Attempt to locate and display the names and short descriptions of
manual pages related to the given commands. The
commands may be separated by commas, or by spaces if the
list is enclosed in quotes. The full name of command must
be given; however, man is insensitive to its case.
man -e is equivalent to the
FIRST mode. Display only the first matching
title. Incompatible with -a option. This option is
equivalent to specifying MODE=FIRST in
-k keyword ...
Output the name and short description of each manual page that has
at least one of the specified keywords in its short
description. The search is insensitive to case, and matches on parts
of words. For example, a search for the keyword ``compile''
will match on ``Compiler''. The keywords may be
separated by commas, or by spaces if the list is enclosed in quotes.
man -k is equivalent to the
Select a paging program pager to display the entry. Paging
systems such as
or any custom pagers that you may have are valid arguments for this
The default pager, pg, set in /etc/default/man,
may be overridden by setting the environment variable
PAGER to the name of a suitable paging program. The
pager defined by -p overrides both of these.
Indicate that if an unprocessed manual page is available, it is to
be passed to proc for formatting. proc can be
any command script in /usr/man/bin or an absolute filename
of a text processing program elsewhere on the system.
Format the entry and pass the given term value to the
processing program, then print it on the standard output (usually,
the terminal), where term is the terminal type (see
and the explanation below).
Print on the standard output only the pathnames of the
The names and general descriptions of manual page sections include:
You will only have access to the Development System, device driver,
and networking manual pages if you have installed these software
products on your system.
System administration commands
Hardware dependent features
SCO Visual Tcl commands
You can add new manual page sections in the /usr/man
directory hierarchy. For example, you could use the directory
/usr/man/man.LOCAL to hold manual pages that are local to
Beginning with SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7, it is possible to install manual
pages into numbered sections. Some Optional Services software
packages do so. Numbered manual page sections include:
Unrestricted commands, which can be run by any user
Administrative commands, whose options may be fully or partially
restricted to the root or owner accounts
Device drivers and driver interfaces
The HTML files for SCO-supplied manual
pages are located in the /usr/man/html.section
The /usr/man/index file lists the manual
page names, subsidiary entries, and the file where they are
described. The format of this file is described on the
The /usr/man/whatis file is a database of
keywords used by the whatis and apropos
commands, and created using
The format of this file is described on the
Any traditional-format manual page sections that you install should
be placed in the /usr/man/ directory hierarchy. Such
manual page sections traditionally have two directories in
/usr/man. These directories are called
man.section and cat.section
where section is the mnemonic name of the manual page
section. For example, the LOCAL manual section would
comprise the two directories:
If a manual page title is requested, man checks
both directories. The most recent copy of the manual page is used as
the current copy. If the most recent title is in the source text
directory and it is processed by the default processor with the
default terminal type, a display copy of the output is placed in the
cat directory for future use. Note that a file that must
be processed takes longer to appear on the screen than a display
unprocessed source text
printable processed output
Default man settings
The file /etc/default/man contains the default settings
for the man utility. The following variables are set in
The following default entries appear in /etc/default/man:
Sets the HTML renderer used by usr/bin/html2ascii; see
the comments in this file concerning rendering options for HTML
man pages. This variable does not affect man pages accessed through
DocView and Internet browsers.
Changes or augments the path man searches for
entries. man looks for the specified manual page
title in the section directories in the order
specified by MANPATH.
Multiple directories set with this variable must be delimited by
colon characters (:). If the MANPATH environment variable
is present, the directories are searched in the order that they
appear. The entry scohelp must appear in the
MANPATH list for the SCO-supplied manual pages
to be included in the search path.
Alternate subdirectories are expected to have the same hierarchical
structure as the default directories in
/usr/lib/scohelp/man or the traditional directory
structure under /usr/man.
The TCP port number for the remote manual page
server. Normally set to 8080. Not used if the manual page server is
the local machine.
Defines the name of the host machine that is serving manual pages
using scohttp. If set to localhost,
man uses a UNIX domain socket connection to the
scohttpd daemon on the local machine.
If MANSERVER specifies a remote manual page server which
either does not respond or which cannot find the requested manual
page, man looks for the manual page in the
/usr/man directory hierarchy on the local machine.
Specifies a temporary file to be used to establish a UNIX
domain socket connection to the scohttpd daemon.
If set to ALL, display all matching manual pages. If set
to FIRST, display only the first matching title. May be
overridden using the -a and -f options.
Specifies the order in which to search the manual page sections for
a specified manual page title if a section is
not also specified.
Specifies the paging program to be used. May be overridden using the
Specifies the terminal type on which output is to be printed. May be
overridden using the -T option.
You can select a different paging system, search path, terminal
type, search order, mode, processor, and HTML renderer for the
man system by changing the information in this file.
Values for ORDER and MANPATH variables can
be edited by during package installation; in typical
installations, the default values are augmented.
To change the search order for manual page sections, edit the list
following the ORDER variable. Be certain the section names
are separated with colons (:). Section names not present in
ORDER are searched in arbitrary order after those
specified in /etc/default/man.
If set, the following environment variables override the default
values defined in /etc/default/man:
See the ``Default man settings'' section for the definitions of
Creating new manual page entries
Follow these steps to make new manual pages (created using
troff) available to users.
By default, troff and related text-processing software
is not installed with SCO OpenServer. However, troff,
nroff, groff, and related tools
can be added to your system as part of the separately-installable
GNU Development Tools package.
Once you have performed these steps, any user can view the new page
in the same manner as any other manual page.
Log in as root.
Place the file containing the new manual page in the
/usr/man/man.section directory structure.
If desired, use the command chmod 444 filename
to make the file readable (but not writable) by all users.
Additionally, you can create your own custom sections by creating
another manual directory and putting it in the
MANPATH. For example, if subdirectories
man.XXXX and cat.XXXX are
present, then man recognizes that ``XXXX''
is a valid manual page section.
If you wish to specify a program to process your custom manual
pages, use the -tproc flag of
man. proc can be any shell script in
/usr/man/bin. To place a copy of the manual page in the
cat directory, use the
command to send the output to a file, as well as to the standard
Your command should have the form:
man -tproc filename | tee pathname
In the above example, proc is the text processing script,
filename is the manual page source file, and
pathname is the path of the directory for the cat-able
If you wish to create a manual page section in
HTML format, follow these rules:
The directory containing the manual page section must be
called html.section and it must exist under one
of the directories named by MAPPATH.
The manual page entries in html.section must be
The commands named on the manual pages must appear in the
index file in the directory above the directory where they
There must be a CONTENTS.html file in the same
directory as the manual pages. This file lists references to all the
manual page entries in that directory.
Creating index and whatis files
man uses a manual page index to locate multiple
commands that are listed on the same page as well as commands that
have pages in several different sections. The whatis and
apropos commands use the whatis keyword database
to give you a short description of a command or to search for a
manual page relating to a particular topic.
manual page for information on reindexing to include new manual
The entries in some equations and tables may be either lost or
approximated as they cannot be reproduced exactly online.
manual pages in HTML
database of manual page names and sections
database of keywords
man is conformant with:
ISO/IEC DIS 99452:1992, Information technology Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) Part 2: Shell and Utilities (IEEE Std 1003.21992);
X/Open CAE Specification, Commands and Utilities, Issue 4, 1992.
© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003