29

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?

23

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.

2
  • 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
3

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"
               "http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/xml/4.1.2/docbookx.dtd">

<refentry id='vfplot1'>
<refentryinfo><date>1 July 2008</date></refentryinfo>
<refmeta>
<refentrytitle>VFPLOT</refentrytitle>
<manvolnum>1</manvolnum>
<refmiscinfo class='date'>1 July 2008</refmiscinfo>
</refmeta>
<refnamediv id='name'>
<refname>vfplot</refname>
<refpurpose>plot vector fields with curved arrows.</refpurpose>
</refnamediv>
<refsynopsisdiv id='synopsis'>
<cmdsynopsis>
  <command>vfplot</command>    
  <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.

3

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

http://linux-apps.com/content/show.php/Man+Page+Editor+?content=160219

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.

2
  • 1
    That application looks interesting. Could you provide a bit more detail, here, than just a link? 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. Sep 8 '13 at 17:29
0

You can do it with autotools. GNU has published example where a C project installs a manpage with autotools.

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