Linux / Unix: Read a Man Page From Local Directory

by on March 10, 2013 · 1 comment· LAST UPDATED March 10, 2013

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I have a man page stored in my home directory called ~/foo.1. How do I read a $HOME/foo.1 man page file? How can I read the file called ~/foo.1 as a manpage with man command?

troff is a document processing system developed by AT&T for the Unix operating system. The troff typesetting system includes sets of commands called macros that are run before starting to process the document.
Tutorial details
DifficultyEasy (rss)
Root privilegesNo
Requirementsman/nroff
Estimated completion timeN/A
These macros include setting up page headers and footers, defining new commands, and generally influencing how the output will be formatted. Under Linux all new manual pages should be marked up using the groff an.tmac package. The groff (GNU troff) software is a typesetting package which reads plain text mixed with formatting commands and produces formatted output.

Option #1: Use man command

The syntax is:

 
man ./file-name
man $HOME/foo.1
man ~/foo.1
man /path/to/foo.1
man /path/to/your-man-page-here
 

Option #2: Use nroff command

The nroff script emulates the nroff command using groff and the syntax is:

 
nroff -man  foo.1
nroff -man  $HOME/foo.1
nroff -man  /path/to/foo.1
nroff -man  /path/to/your-man-page-here
 

Option #3: Set MANPATH shell variable

The man command searches the environment variable MANPATH. It is a colon-seperated list of directories like the PATH variable for man pages. To see current man page path, run:
$ manpath
Sample outputs:

/usr/local/share/man:/usr/share/man/overrides:/usr/share/man/en:/usr/share/man

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

Example

Type the following command
$ export MANPATH="$(manpath):/path/to/your/man1/"
$ man 1 foo

See also
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Chris F.A. Johnson March 11, 2013 at 1:53 am
  man ~/foo.1

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