I have a newly installed xubuntu 13.10 x64. I decided to install zsh via synaptic and make it my default shell. The installed zsh's version is: zsh 5.0.2 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu).

The installed zsh looks ok, but there seems to be no man documentation for zsh. Entering the command man zsh gives me this: No manual entry for zsh.

I have also installed from synaptic, aside from zsh itself, zsh-lovers, zsh-doc, zsh-dbg. What did I miss in my zsh install to end up with zsh with no man documentation?

5 Answers 5


Unfortunately, this is a bug affecting Ubuntu 13.10 and 14.04:

Bug #1242108: all zsh manpages are missing

It looks like the only thing we can do about it right now is to get the man pages from the source. Get the appropriate version of the source code from sourceforge (for Ubuntu 14.04 you need version 5.0.2, otherwise check using zsh --version) then extract and copy them into place with:

tar xvf zsh-5.0.2.tar.bz2 zsh-5.0.2/Doc/
sudo cp zsh-5.0.2/Doc/*.1 /usr/share/man/man1/
  • @Volker Actually I think that will get you the documentation for the latest version. With Ubuntu 14.04 I have version 5.0.2 of zsh (run zsh --version), the documentation for that version is here.
    – dshepherd
    Commented Jul 20, 2014 at 13:06
  • @dshepherd Oh, you're right - I did not notice that you'd not want the latest in this case. I'll remove that. Commented Jul 20, 2014 at 13:09
  • Actually I was slightly wrong as well, you need the complete zsh, not just the documentation. For some reason the man pages aren't in the doc tar file! The correct link is here.
    – dshepherd
    Commented Jul 20, 2014 at 13:13
  • I've edited the answer to include the correct link.
    – dshepherd
    Commented Jul 20, 2014 at 14:15

Until this bug is fixed so that the package automatically contains the man pages, you can use

sudo apt-get install zsh/trusty-backports

to install the zsh version from Ubuntu Backports.


Update: man zsh back!

The man pages of zsh are available again in the packages of Ubuntu.
This includes the help for builtin commands*.

Under Utopic, they should be just there by now; Try man zshall to confirm.

Looking at the bug comments, the fix will unfourtunately not be available for Trusty.
At least not in the standard repository;

But there is a better workaround now:

Luckily, Rami Lehti has made a "backport" of the fix to Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty, and provides a PPA with it:

ppa:ramilehti/ppa - note that it contains only this one package, so it will not update others.

There are some hints to read before using PPAs - see the PPA page.

(*) Help for builtin commands is shown by

$ run-help printf

$ printf<Alt-h>

Below you find the hints about how to work around the problem before the update:


pinfo zsh


xdg-open /usr/share/doc/zsh/zsh.pdf

or see below:

You did not miss anything - it's a bug; The zsh man pages are missing indeed, see Bug #1242108: all zsh manpages are missing.


  • a local PDF documentation can be found in /usr/share/doc/zsh/zsh.pdf from the package zsh-doc, which may need to be installed by apt-get install zsh-doc.

  • Online, the current documentation can be found at The ZSH Manual in HTML.

  • GNU info pages can be read by the command info zsh or pinfo zsh or konqueror info:zsh


Some projects have manual pages (man) as info pages as well. But some have only info pages. So give this command

info zsh 

and have a good reading

For what info is and how to navigate

info info

Also I saw that a .pdf is available inside /usr/share/doc/zsh/ path. If this is easiest to read, try it

evince /usr/share/doc/zsh/zsh.pdf

evince is a pdf viewer pre-installed in most Ubuntu versions.

  • Package zsh-doc contains zsh.pdf Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 3:30

You may want to try the latest install of Zsh from http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/svn/postlfs/zsh.html This is 5.0.5 listed as a stable release many improvements but most of all the doc's and manpages are available and they work.

Just completed my install. There will be two tar files, get both. The INSTALL file had all of the information needed to complete installation of the docs and manuals, as well as, instructions for how to install the texi version and it comes with the PDF you referenced zsh.pdf.

Hope this helps someone. I have been miserable having obtain all help with online searches.

Good luck!

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