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I am packaging a program for ubuntu, And I am getting a lintian warning saying my binary needs a manpage.

How does one go about creating a manpage for a program?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

With the help of Gmanedit Install gmanedit you are able to create manpages with a graphical GUI.

Gtk+ Manpages Editor is an editor for man pages that runs on X with GTK+.

Gmanedit is an application which allows you to edit manual pages (man) on Linux/Unix systems.

It is like most common HTML editors but more easy. You need to know manpages format.

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According to the Debian FHS user program manpages are stored in usr/share/man/man1 or usr/local/share/man/man1.

After changing manpages it may be wise to update the manpage database by running mandb in a terminal.

Details on the manpage syntax are summarized in the manpage for man.

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Sure, you're right. I was going to change it, but as soon as I saw MarcoCeppi there I didn't want to modify it. :D –  Lucio Mar 7 '13 at 15:46
@Lucio lol - that was from a time way back, when there was no apps.ubuntu yet ;) –  Takkat Mar 7 '13 at 18:39

Give this a whirl I have just uploaded it I write a number of apps and have been having trouble with a decent manpage editor


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That application looks interesting. Could you provide a bit more detail, here, than just a link? –  Kevin Bowen Aug 29 '13 at 20:08
This is a gtk2 app with a separate tab for each section importing manpages previewing and exporting are all supported, no esoteric formatting commands, this is still under development but is certainly stable enough to use. –  Tony Duncun Sep 8 '13 at 17:29

You can write manpages in docbook/refentry, an XML documentation format,

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE refentry PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.1.2//EN"

<refentry id='vfplot1'>
<refentryinfo><date>1 July 2008</date></refentryinfo>
<refmiscinfo class='date'>1 July 2008</refmiscinfo>
<refnamediv id='name'>
<refpurpose>plot vector fields with curved arrows.</refpurpose>
<refsynopsisdiv id='synopsis'>
  <arg choice='opt'>-a <replaceable>aspect</replaceable></arg>
  <arg choice='opt'>-d <replaceable>file</replaceable></arg>
  <arg choice='opt'>-D <replaceable>pen</replaceable></arg>

and then convert the results to man format using

xsltproc /path/to/docbook.xsl vfplot.xml

to html with

docbook2html docbook2html

and so on. This is not the easiest way to write a manpage, but if you have written XML before then you know the syntax already, it is just a matter of learning the tags to use.

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