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This document is a Mac OS X manual page. Manual pages are a command-line technology for providing documentation. You can view these manual pages locally using the man(1) command. These manual pages come from many different sources, and thus, have a variety of writing styles.

For more information about the manual page format, see the manual page for manpages(5).

man(1)                                                                                                man(1)

       man - format and display the on-line manual pages

       man  [-acdfFhkKtwW]  [--path]  [-m  system] [-p string] [-C config_file] [-M pathlist] [-P pager] [-B
       browser] [-H htmlpager] [-S section_list] [section] name ...

       man formats and displays the on-line manual pages.  If you specify section, man only  looks  in  that
       section  of the manual.  name is normally the name of the manual page, which is typically the name of
       a command, function, or file.  However, if name contains a slash (/) then man interprets it as a file
       specification, so that you can do man ./foo.5 or even man /cd/foo/bar.1.gz.

       See below for a description of where man looks for the manual page files.

       -C  config_file
              Specify   the   configuration  file  to  use;  the  default  is  /private/etc/man.conf.   (See

       -M  path
              Specify the list of directories to search  for  man  pages.   Separate  the  directories  with
              colons.   An  empty  list is the same as not specifying -M at all.  See SEARCH PATH FOR MANUAL

       -P  pager
              Specify which pager to use.  This option overrides the MANPAGER environment variable, which in
              turn overrides the PAGER variable.  By default, man uses /usr/bin/less -is.

       -B     Specify  which  browser  to  use on HTML files.  This option overrides the BROWSER environment
              variable. By default, man uses /usr/bin/less-is,

       -H     Specify a command that renders HTML files as text.  This option overrides the HTMLPAGER  envi-ronment environment
              ronment variable. By default, man uses /bin/cat,

       -S  section_list
              List  is  a colon separated list of manual sections to search.  This option overrides the MAN-SECT MANSECT
              SECT environment variable.

       -a     By default, man will exit after displaying the first manual page it finds.  Using this  option
              forces man to display all the manual pages that match name, not just the first.

       -c     Reformat the source man page, even when an up-to-date cat page exists.  This can be meaningful
              if the cat page was formatted for a screen with a different number of columns, or if the  pre-formatted preformatted
              formatted page is corrupted.

       -d     Don't actually display the man pages, but do print gobs of debugging information.

       -D     Both display and print debugging info.

       -f     Equivalent to whatis.

       -F or --preformat
              Format only - do not display.

       -h     Print a help message and exit.

       -k     Equivalent to apropos.

       -K     Search  for  the  specified string in *all* man pages. Warning: this is probably very slow! It
              helps to specify a section.  (Just to give a rough idea, on my  machine  this  takes  about  a
              minute per 500 man pages.)

       -m  system
              Specify an alternate set of man pages to search based on the system name given.

       -p  string
              Specify  the  sequence  of  preprocessors to run before nroff or troff.  Not all installations
              will have a full set of preprocessors.  Some of the preprocessors and the letters used to des-ignate designate
              ignate  them  are:  eqn  (e),  grap (g), pic (p), tbl (t), vgrind (v), refer (r).  This option
              overrides the MANROFFSEQ environment variable.

       -t     Use /usr/bin/groff -Tps -mandoc -c to format the manual page, passing the  output  to  stdout.
              The default output format of /usr/bin/groff -Tps -mandoc -c is Postscript, refer to the manual
              page of /usr/bin/groff -Tps -mandoc -c for ways to pick an alternate format.

       Depending on the selected format and the availability of printing devices, the output may need to  be
       passed through some filter or another before being printed.

       -w or --path
              Don't  actually display the man pages, but do print the location(s) of the files that would be
              formatted or displayed. If no argument is given: display (on stdout) the list  of  directories
              that  is searched by man for man pages. If manpath is a link to man, then "manpath" is equiva-lent equivalent
              lent to "man --path".

       -W     Like -w, but print file names one per line, without additional information.  This is useful in
              shell commands like man -aW man | xargs ls -l

       Man  will  try  to save the formatted man pages, in order to save formatting time the next time these
       pages are needed.  Traditionally, formatted versions of pages in DIR/manX are saved in DIR/catX,  but
       other  mappings  from man dir to cat dir can be specified in /private/etc/man.conf.  No cat pages are
       saved when the required cat directory does not exist.  No cat pages are saved when they are formatted
       for a line length different from 80.  No cat pages are saved when man.conf contains the line NOCACHE.

       It is possible to make man suid to a user man. Then, if a cat directory has owner man and  mode  0755
       (only writable by man), and the cat files have owner man and mode 0644 or 0444 (only writable by man,
       or not writable at all), no ordinary user can change the cat pages or put  other  files  in  the  cat
       directory. If man is not made suid, then a cat directory should have mode 0777 if all users should be
       able to leave cat pages there.

       The option -c forces reformatting a page, even if a recent cat page exists.

       Man will find HTML pages if they live in directories named as expected to be ".html",  thus  a  valid
       name for an HTML version of the ls(1) man page would be /usr/share/man/htmlman1/ls.1.html.

       man  uses  a  sophisticated  method of finding manual page files, based on the invocation options and
       environment variables, the /private/etc/man.conf configuration file, and some  built  in  conventions
       and heuristics.

       First of all, when the name argument to man contains a slash (/), man assumes it is a file specifica-tion specification
       tion itself, and there is no searching involved.

       But in the normal case where name doesn't contain a slash, man searches a variety of directories  for
       a file that could be a manual page for the topic named.

       If you specify the -M pathlist option, pathlist is a colon-separated list of the directories that man

       If you don't specify -M but set the MANPATH environment variable, the value of that variable  is  the
       list of the directories that man searches.

       If  you  don't specify an explicit path list with -M or MANPATH, man develops its own path list based
       on the contents of the configuration file /private/etc/man.conf.  The MANPATH statements in the  con-figuration configuration
       figuration file identify particular directories to include in the search path.

       Furthermore,  the MANPATH_MAP statements add to the search path depending on your command search path
       (i.e. your PATH environment variable).  For each directory that may be in the command search path,  a
       MANPATH_MAP  statement  specifies a directory that should be added to the search path for manual page
       files.  man looks at the PATH variable and adds the corresponding directories to the manual page file
       search path.  Thus, with the proper use of MANPATH_MAP, when you issue the command man xyz, you get a
       manual page for the program that would run if you issued the command xyz.

       In addition, for each directory in the command search path (we'll call it a "command directory")  for
       which  you  do  not have a MANPATH_MAP statement, man automatically looks for a manual page directory
       "nearby" namely as a subdirectory in the command directory itself or in the parent directory  of  the
       command directory.

       You  can  disable  the  automatic  "nearby"  searches  by  including  a NOAUTOPATH statement in /pri-vate/etc/man.conf. /private/etc/man.conf.

       In each directory in the search path as described above, man searches for a file named topic.section,
       with  an optional suffix on the section number and possibly a compression suffix.  If it doesn't find
       such a file, it then looks in any subdirectories named manN or catN where N  is  the  manual  section
       number.   If  the file is in a catN subdirectory, man assumes it is a formatted manual page file (cat
       page).  Otherwise, man assumes it is unformatted.  In either case, if the filename has a  known  com-pression compression
       pression suffix (like .gz), man assumes it is gzipped.

       If  you  want  to  see  where  (or if) man would find the manual page for a particular topic, use the
       --path (-w) option.

              If MANPATH is set, man uses it as the path to search for manual page files.  It overrides  the
              configuration  file  and  the  automatic  search  path, but is overridden by the -M invocation
              option.  See SEARCH PATH FOR MANUAL PAGES.

       MANPL  If MANPL is set, its value is used as the display page length.  Otherwise, the entire man page
              will occupy one (long) page.

              If  MANROFFSEQ is set, its value is used to determine the set of preprocessors run before run-ning running
              ning nroff or troff.  By default, pages are passed through the tbl preprocessor before  nroff.

              If MANSECT is set, its value is used to determine which manual sections to search.

              If  MANWIDTH  is  set, its value is used as the width manpages should be displayed.  Otherwise
              the pages may be displayed over the whole width of your screen.

              If MANPAGER is set, its value is used as the name of the program to use  to  display  the  man
              page.  If not, then PAGER is used. If that has no value either, /usr/bin/less -is is used.

              The  name  of  a  browser  to  use  for  displaying  HTML  manual  pages.   If  it is not set,
              /usr/bin/less -is is used.

              The command to use for rendering HTML manual pages as text.  If it is  not  set,  /bin/cat  is

       LANG   If  LANG  is set, its value defines the name of the subdirectory where man first looks for man
              pages. Thus, the command `LANG=dk man 1 foo' will cause man to look for the foo  man  page  in
              .../dk/man1/foo.1,  and  if it cannot find such a file, then in .../man1/foo.1, where ... is a
              directory on the search path.

              The environment variables NLSPATH and LC_MESSAGES (or LANG when the  latter  does  not  exist)
              play  a  role in locating the message catalog.  (But the English messages are compiled in, and
              for English no catalog is required.)  Note that programs like col(1) called by  man  also  use
              e.g. LC_CTYPE.

       PATH   PATH helps determine the search path for manual page files.  See SEARCH PATH FOR MANUAL PAGES.

       SYSTEM SYSTEM is used to get the default alternate system name (for use with the -m option).

       The -t option only works if a troff-like program is installed.
       If you see blinking \255 or <AD> instead of hyphens, put `LESSCHARSET=latin1' in your environment.

       If you add the line

         (global-set-key [(f1)] (lambda () (interactive) (manual-entry (current-word))))

       to your .emacs file, then hitting F1 will give you the man page for the library call at  the  current
       cursor position.

       To get a plain text version of a man page, without backspaces and underscores, try

         # man foo | col -b > foo.mantxt

       John  W.  Eaton  was  the  original  author  of man.  Zeyd M. Ben-Halim released man 1.2, and Andries
       Brouwer followed up with versions 1.3 thru 1.5p.  Federico Lucifredi <> is the cur-rent current
       rent maintainer.

       apropos(1), whatis(1), less(1), groff(1), man.conf(5).

                                             September 19, 2005                                       man(1)

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