SUMMARY: Adding Man Pages

From: Matthias Heinitz (
Date: Fri Mar 03 1995 - 02:24:38 CST

Dear colleagues,

first of all, many thanks go to all who replied !!!

I have received several responses which indicate me that there
is no perfect solution for adding third party man pages (maybe
waiting for Solaris 2.oo). Obviously, this problem is still open.
My short summary/conclusions is/are:

- Several suggested to check the MANPATH variable. It looks good,
  in order to exclude this problem I put the man page in the
  common man page directory /usr/share/man/man1 .
- Some recommended to create a separate directory for third party man
  pages such as /usr/local/man .
- To update the windex data base: run /usr/openwin/man/makewhatis
  -> That did not work at our site. Alternatively: run catman
  -> That works in some cases.
- Use man -F instead of man .
- My solution:
  I put additional man pages in a separate man directory. catman /
  makewhatis did not work in all cases. So I recommended my users
  to set an alias for man -F .

Please find below the original posting and the received responses.


P.S.: In the first posting I forgot to mention that I am running
        Solaris 2.3 .
P.P.S.: What about woman pages ?

----- Original Posting -------------------------------------------------

Dear colleagues,

probably the solution of my problem is very simple but
consulting the AnswerBook, FAQ, ... did not help.

I am trying to install additional man pages delivered
with software (not from SUN) . Let me give an example:
I put the man page mathremote.1 (444) in the directory
/usr/share/man/man1 . After running catman, there is
still no entry for mathremote:

        majestix{mhei}174: man mathremote
        No manual entry for mathremote.

Running whereis tells me:

        majestix{mhei}175: whereis mathremote
        mathremote: /usr/man/man1/mathremote.1

There is one interesting point, when running
catman -w the following error message is displayed:

         majestix{root}130: catman -w
        Output line too long.

Any ideas ? What is the best way to update the windex data base ?

I will summarize.


_________________________________________________________________________ Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Heinitz
                                Institut fuer Theoretische Elektrotechnik
                                Universitaet Hannover
                                Appelstr. 9A _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Tel.: +49 511 762 3250 30167 Hannover _/ _/_/ _/
Fax : +49 511 762 3204 Germany _/ _/_/_/ _/

My views and opinions do not reflect the same for my employer or my country
and definitely not the chancelor! Your solution maybe someone else's problem.

----- Responses --------------------------------------------------------
1) Claus Assmann <>

How abut

Sorry, no other idea...

2) bern@TI.Uni-Trier.DE (Jochen Bern)

That's odd, man should be able to find the Manpage no Matter what catman
does. What's your MANPATH? Any unreadable Directories?

BTW, new Manpages should be put into /usr/local/man/...; Run catman
with the -M Option to upcate whatis'es in other Places.

                J. Bern
3) (Michael Seeger)

Du schreibst leider nicht welche OS-Version, aber es hoert sich
ganz nach einem bekannten Problem an, um die FAQ zu zitieren:

--- cite: Solaris 2.x FAQ -- Maintained by Casper Dik <> ---
2.2) Why is "man -k" so confused?

  Solaris man uses a manual page index file called "windex" in
  place of the old "whatis" file. You can build this index with
            cd <man-page-directory>; catman -w -M .

  But, in 2.1, this will result in numerous "line too long" messages
  and a bogus windex file in /usr/share/man, and a core dump in
  /usr/openwin/man. (In 2.2, catman works in /usr/share/man, but
  says "line too long" in /usr/openwin/man). To add injury to
  insult, "man" normally won't show you a man page if it can't find
  the windex entry, even though the man page exists.

  There's a "makewhatis" script in /usr/openwin/man that works
  better than catman. But watch it - by default it searches files
  in /usr/man, not in openwin, and it only looks in some predefined
  man subdirectories. Try changing its "for ..." command to
  "for i in man*", then use it like this:
            cd /usr/share/man; /usr/openwin/man/makewhatis .
            cd /usr/openwin/man; /usr/openwin/man/makewhatis .

  Still (!), the openwin windex file is somewhat hosed (try "man
  answerbook" :-(. You can always delete the bogus lines manually...
  or, you can alias man to "man -F", forcing it to look for the
  bloody file like you asked.

  But wait, there's more! To see the read(2) man page, you can't
  just type "man 2 read" anymore - it has to be "man -s 2 read".
  Or, alias man to this little script:

            if [ $# -gt 1 -a "$1" -gt "0" ]; then
                    /bin/man -F -s $*
                    /bin/man -F $*
--- End cite ---

Ich hoffe das loest Dein Problem,


Try running "catman -w -M /usr/man"

Hope this helps.

5) rangern@CIRANO.UMontreal.CA (Normand Ranger)

I have also this problem when I install shareware software.
I resolved this problem with the -F parameter:

man -F mathremote

        Try it.

        Bonne chance (good luck!)

                                     Normand Ranger
6) Jon Howell <>

Try setting your MANPATH environment variable to include /usr/share/man. If
that was the problem, you can fix it in .profile and every process on
the system will inherit the correct environment variable.

7) Torsten Metzner <>

Hallo Matthias,
so richtig wei\3 ich auch nicht wie ich Dir helfen soll. Denn selbst wenn der
bereits formatierte Eintrag unter /usr/man/cat1 f"ur mathremote nicht erstellt
wird, sollte das Manual f"ur mathremote dann unter /usr/man/man1 gefunden
Wir hatten beim installieren von mathremote.1 keine Probleme und ich habe es
eben auch noch einmal lokal bei mir ohne jegliche Probleme installieren

Aber vielleicht hilft Dir das folgende:

(1) Hast Du vielleicht den MANPATH gesetzt. Dann wird n"amlich nur in diesem
    und nicht noch unter /usr/man gesucht.
(2) Installiere mathremote.1 doch zuerst einmal unter z.B. ~/tmp/man/man1
    Dann kannst Du ausschlie\3en ob nicht doch ein Fehler in der
    Manualseite liegt.

(3) Dies ist meine ganz pers"onliche subjektive Meinung und hat mit deinem
    Problem eigentlich nichts zu tuen.
    Ich w"urde Fremd ( Dritt ) Software und damit auch deren Manuals
    wenn m"oglich getrennt von der SystemSoftware installieren.
    Hiermit hat man dann einen besseren "Uberblick "uber die vorhandene
    Software vor allem wenn man einmal Pakete l"oschen mu\3.
    So eine Struktur wie /usr/local/PAKETNAME/lib
    hat sich da bei uns in Paderborn recht gut bew"ahrt.
    Dies hat nat"urlich auch "Nachteile":
    * Erweitern von PATH
    * Erweitern von MANPATH
    * Eventuelles Setzen von LD_LIBRARY_PATH

    Daf"ur hat man einen recht guten "Uberblick "uber die vorhandene
    Aber wie gesagt dies ist nur eine ganz pers"onliche Vorliebe.

| What is the best way to update the windex data base ?

Keine Ahnung, da ich obigen Fehler noch nicht gehabt habe.
Aber vielleicht solltest Du einmal folgenden Ratschlag aus dem Manual

     If a user, who has previously run catman to install the cat?
     directories, upgrades the operating system, the entire cat?
     directory structure should be removed prior to running cat-
     man. See rm(1).

Hast Du vielleicht von Solaris2.3 auf Solaris2.4 geupgraded ?

Vielleicht hilft es ja,

8) raoul@MIT.EDU

Well, several things. Put all locally installed man pages in
/usr/local/man/man?, so Sun upgrades don't touch them and you know
they are local software. Second, take a look at the man page in
question: see if there is something stupid, like a line too long in
it, or formatting commands for weird operating systems, or a Name
entry that is much too long. Try 'trace man mathremote', and 'trace
catman -w' and see what you get.

                                Nico Garcia

Please set MANPATh such that it includes all the man pages before doing a catman

10) (Bradley Birnbaum)

I have similar problems with man pages. When I add new ones some work and
some don't. I run catman everytime and it even formats them in the cat
directories but the man command doesn't find them unless I use
man -F command

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