MANPATH(5)               /usr/local/etc/man_db.conf               MANPATH(5)

NAME         top

       manpath - format of the /usr/local/etc/man_db.conf file

DESCRIPTION         top

       The manpath configuration file is used by the manual page utilities
       to assess users' manpaths at run time, to indicate which manual page
       hierarchies (manpaths) are to be treated as system hierarchies and to
       assign them directories to be used for storing cat files.

       If the environment variable $MANPATH is already set, the information
       contained within /usr/local/etc/man_db.conf will not override it.

FORMAT         top

       The following field types are currently recognised:

       # comment
              Blank lines or those beginning with a # will be treated as
              comments and ignored.

       MANDATORY_MANPATH manpath_element
              Lines of this form indicate manpaths that every automatically
              generated $MANPATH should contain.  This will typically
              include /usr/man.

       MANPATH_MAP path_element manpath_element
              Lines of this form set up $PATH to $MANPATH mappings.  For
              each path_element found in the user's $PATH, manpath_element
              will be added to the $MANPATH.

       MANDB_MAP manpath_element [ catpath_element ]
              Lines of this form indicate which manpaths are to be treated
              as system manpaths, and optionally where their cat files
              should be stored.  This field type is particularly important
              if man is a setuid program, as (when in the system
              configuration file /usr/local/etc/man_db.conf rather than the
              per-user configuration file .manpath) it indicates which
              manual page hierarchies to access as the setuid user and which
              as the invoking user.

              The system manual page hierarchies are usually those stored
              under /usr such as /usr/man, /usr/local/man and

              If cat pages from a particular manpath_element are not to be
              stored or are to be stored in the traditional location,
              catpath_element may be omitted.

              Traditional cat placement would be impossible for read only
              mounted manual page hierarchies and because of this it is
              possible to specify any valid directory hierarchy for their
              storage.  To observe the Linux FSSTND the keyword FSSTND can
              be used in place of an actual directory.

              Unfortunately, it is necessary to specify all system man tree
              paths, including alternate operating system paths such as
              /usr/man/sun and any NLS locale paths such as

              As the information is parsed line by line in the order
              written, it is necessary for any manpath that is a sub-
              hierarchy of another hierarchy to be listed first, otherwise
              an incorrect match will be made.  An example is that
              /usr/man/de_DE.88591 must come before /usr/man.

       DEFINE key value
              Lines of this form define miscellaneous configuration
              variables; see the default configuration file for those
              variables used by the manual pager utilities.  They include
              default paths to various programs (such as grep and tbl), and
              default sets of arguments to those programs.

       SECTION section ...
              Lines of this form define the order in which manual sections
              should be searched.  If there are no SECTION directives in the
              configuration file, the default is:

                     SECTION 1 n l 8 3 0 2 5 4 9 6 7

              If multiple SECTION directives are given, their section lists
              will be concatenated.

              If a particular extension is not in this list (say, 1mh) it
              will be displayed with the rest of the section it belongs to.
              The effect of this is that you only need to explicitly list
              extensions if you want to force a particular order.  Sections
              with extensions should usually be adjacent to their main
              section (e.g. "1 1mh 8 ...").

              SECTIONS is accepted as an alternative name for this

       MINCATWIDTH width
              If the terminal width is less than width, cat pages will not
              be created (if missing) or displayed.  The default is 80.

       MAXCATWIDTH width
              If the terminal width is greater than width, cat pages will
              not be created (if missing) or displayed.  The default is 80.

       CATWIDTH width
              If width is non-zero, cat pages will always be formatted for a
              terminal of the given width, regardless of the width of the
              terminal actually being used.  This should generally be within
              the range set by MINCATWIDTH and MAXCATWIDTH.

              This flag prevents man(1) from creating cat pages

BUGS         top

       Unless the rules above are followed and observed precisely, the
       manual pager utilities will not function as desired.  The rules are
       overly complicated.

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the man-db (manual pager suite) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this
       manual page, send it to  This page was
       obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2020-05-27.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the repos‐
       itory was 2020-05-17.)  If you discover any rendering problems in
       this HTML version of the page, or you believe there is a better or
       more up-to-date source for the page, or you have corrections or
       improvements to the information in this COLOPHON (which is not part
       of the original manual page), send a mail to

2.8.4                            2018-07-27                       MANPATH(5)

Pages that refer to this page: man(1)catman(8)mandb(8)