View Full Version : Man pages

14th November 2008, 12:00 PM
Does anyones 'man -H' invocation work ? It should open the relavent 'man' page using
whatever browser your $BROWSER enviromment variable is set to. Mine is set to '/usr/bin/konqueror' but any attempt to, for instance, 'man -H tail', from the CLI results in the question "What manual page do you want?". OK, let's try 'man -H 1 tail' - the man page then opens up in the command window ! Most frustrating.



Well, a way around this [ thanks to a thread in the Ubuntu forums ], is to use 'yelp'.
Once installed, one can 'yelp man ls' and the manual page for 'ls' will open in the
gnome documentation browser. To make things easier, you could add something like:

manb () { yelp man:$1; }

to your .bashrc file, then all you have to do is type 'manb ls' at the command line
to view the man page.

Hope this helps someone...


15th November 2008, 12:29 AM
The man page for man says that the -H option uses the HTMLPAGER variable, not BROWSER. man -B uses the BROWSER variable. Either way, I think those only apply to man pages already in html format, not the usual groff format.

Anyway, I prefer TkViewMan (http://home.comcast.net/~jfilerunner/tkviewman.html) for viewing man pages. :)

15th November 2008, 10:04 AM
Yes, I agree with the -B option, but 'man -B' returns the same result - "What manual page do you want?". I took the '-H' option lead from a post elsewhere which suggested that it worked.

Anywho, problem solved for now - and I'll have a look at TkViewMan, thanks for the
suggestion ;)


15th November 2008, 11:47 AM
I tested TkViewMan, not bad - but I prefer yelp. To that end I've cleaned up
the quick hack above and present two functions for your .bashrc file. One will
call the 'man' page and the other the 'info' page for any query you have. The info
pages are particularly good in this respect - hyperlinks work !

function man () {
yelp man:$1

function info () {
yelp info:$1

You can of course choose to call the function what you like - manb, infob - for

Don't forget to install 'yelp' !


15th November 2008, 09:51 PM
I gave TkViewMan a test drive also after reading this post. I thought the graphical interface was a bit unpolished. I could easily change the foreground/background colors and font size in its configuration offerings, but it didn't offer any way to change the font iteself. The font is uses, in my eyes, is hideous. Back to reading man pages in my normal terminal windows, with nice, easy to read, ttf fonts of my choice.

16th November 2008, 04:29 AM
Normally when I want to look at man pages I just open a terminal type yelp and it brings up the whole man with index. I could be wrong about that but it sure looks like the man pages.

16th November 2008, 06:39 AM
I tested TkViewMan, not bad - but I prefer yelp.
I haven't looked at yelp in a couple years, it had issues rendering some man pages properly back when I tried it (like showing the actual groff tags instead of interpreting them). It's also a GNOME app, and I tend to avoid those. In fact, it depends on libbeagle, which is a Mono/.NET library that I'd rather not install. Oh well, to each his/her own. :)

It's too bad that xman is not included in the Fedora xorg packages, that was a pretty good viewer (with indexing).