Sign up ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

How do I install a man page file system-wide?

For example, if I have a man page file examplecommand.1, how do I install it so that I can just type man examplecommand to view it?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted
  1. First, find out which section your man page belongs to. If its a command, it probably belongs to section 1. You can read the manpage for the man command Manpage icon to see a description of the different sections and their corresponding numbers.

  2. Copy your man page to /usr/local/share/man/man1/ (change 1 to your section number if need be). You can also install it to /usr/share/man/man1/, but it's best practise to use the local directory for files that are installed without using the APT package manager:

    sudo cp examplecommand.1 /usr/local/share/man/man1/
  3. Run the mandb command. This will update man's internal database:

    sudo mandb
  4. That's it! You should be able to view the man page by running:

    man 1 examplecommand


share|improve this answer

If you only need to install the man page locally :

If MANPATH is unset, or includes an empty component (i.e. starts with :, ends with :, or contains ::), then <path>/share/man will automatically be searched for man pages whenever <path>/bin is part of PATH, for all values of <path>.

This provides a very simple way to add man pages for locally installed software. There are some details in man manpath and /etc/manpath.config, but I don't see any mention of the generic mapping from <path>/bin to <path>/share/man.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.