I'm noticing that at the bottom of some man pages in the "See Also" section are references to documentation that aren't other man pages. For example, at the bottom of the man page for bash it references the following documents:

  • Bash Reference Manual, Brian Fox and Chet Ramey
  • The Gnu Readline Library, Brian Fox and Chet Ramey
  • The Gnu History Library, Brian Fox and Chet Ramey
  • Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) Part 2: Shell and Utilities, IEEE

I'm aware I can Google them and find them that way, but are they hiding anywhere on my system already? I'm aware the Bash Reference Manual is available through info bash. Is there something similar (non-pdf --- HTML, ASCII, man page, or other info page) for the others?

  • see also this question: askubuntu.com/q/24072/3940
    – Takkat
    Dec 20, 2011 at 10:32
  • @Takkat Thanks. I'm aware of that source of documentation and how to read it, but those documents don't appear to be anywhere to be found in /usr/share/doc/. The repos don't have a package that seems to contain those documents either.
    – Matty
    Dec 20, 2011 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately the situation is that every package mantainer provides one of more man pages for the applications provided by the package, but the content of the man page is

  1. static - cannot change based on what is installed or not on your particular machine

  2. subjective - is up to the maintainer (or upstream developer) to choose what to write into it, apart from the structure that should adhere to a general scheme, and should be syntactically correct to be parsed from the the deputed tools

So there is no guarantee that the indicated documentation is available in the repos, nor that it is available freely in general (sometimes also other referred man paged are non existent).

You could fire a bug against the package to signal that there is no reference (not event an URL) indicating where that documents could be found.

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