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I would like to search through subsection FILES in all man pages.

I have tried man -K FILES:resolv.conf and man -K -S FILES resolv.conf in no way

How can I do that?

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2 Answers

The -S option selects a section of the manual, the manual being the whole collection of man pages. The manual section can be 1 (Executables), 2 (System calls) etc. Not the section of a single man page as such. So for example

man -K -S 3 resolv.conf

will return the man page for res_init(3), a C library call that belongs into the section 3, Library calls, but not the man page for dig(1), which belongs to section 1 (executables).

Since this is a brute text search anyways, I would probably make an ad hoc search script using zcat and sed, or maybe a simple perl script.

EDIT: here is an example script, created as bash function.

function mfind { find /usr/share/man/ -iname '*.gz' -exec zcat {} \; | perl -ne '/.SH NAME/ and $n=<STDIN>;/.SH '$2'/ and $c=1;$c and /'$1'/ and $n and print "$n" and $n=""' ; }


mfind expression mansection

for example

mfind utmp FILES

Bugs: does not consider /etc/manpath.config, uses /usr/share/man instead. No further options available.

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According to this link it is possible on Solaris. Is that not applicable to ubuntu? –  user52151 Sep 19 '12 at 13:27
No, I'm afraid not (and not to GNU man in general). –  January Sep 19 '12 at 14:19
(There is no such thing as GNU man. Neither the now-mostly-obsolete man package nor the man-db package which Ubuntu uses have ever been GNU projects.) –  Colin Watson Oct 22 '12 at 23:28
Yes, my bad; sorry. –  January Oct 23 '12 at 5:16
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Please file a bug for this, preferably against the man-db package in Debian, but you can file it in Ubuntu instead if you like. I don't promise to get around to implementing it any time soon (I'm man-db upstream), but it's an interesting feature in Solaris that I was unaware of and it would have occasional uses.

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