Previous Section  < Day Day Up >  Next Section

Recipe 1.5. Reading man Pages Without a man Viewer

1.5.1 Problem

You're working on a system that is seriously messed up, and you can't read man pages because the man viewer doesn't work.

1.5.2 Solution

Try reading the raw man page with zcat and nroff:

$ zcat /usr/man/man1/cat.1.gz | nroff -man | less

As a last resort, read the raw page code with zless:

$ zless /usr/man/man1/cat.1.gz

.\" DO NOT MODIFY THIS FILE!  It was generated by help2man 1.32.

.TH CAT "1" "July 2003" "cat (coreutils) 5.0" "User Commands"


cat \- concatenate files and print on the standard output


.B cat

[\fIOPTION\fR] [\fIFILE\fR]...

It's not pretty, but it works.

1.5.3 Discussion

nroff is a wrapper for groff, for formatting man pages. groff is a document-formatting, or typesetting, program. It enables you to create many differently formatted documents from a single source file: HTML, .pdf, printed hard copies, info pages, and many more. See Chapter 9 of Running Linux for a good introduction.

1.5.4 See Also

  • mandb(8), locate(1), grep(1), nroff(1), groff(1), zless(1), zcat(1)

  • Recipe 1.6

  • Chapter 9 of Running Linux, by Matt Walsh, Matthias Dalheimer, Terry Dawson, and Lar Kaufman (O'Reilly)

    Previous Section  < Day Day Up >  Next Section