mandb(8) - phpMan
MANDB(8) Manual pager utils MANDB(8)
mandb - create or update the manual page index caches
mandb [-dqsucpt?V] [-C file] [manpath]
mandb [-dqsut] [-C file] -f filename ...
mandb is used to initialise or manually update index database caches that are usually
maintained by man. The caches contain information relevant to the current state of the
manual page system and the information stored within them is used by the man-db utilities
to enhance their speed and functionality.
When creating or updating an index, mandb will warn of bad ROFF .so requests, bogus manual
page filenames and manual pages from which the whatis cannot be parsed.
Supplying mandb with an optional colon-delimited path will override the internal system
manual page hierarchy search path, determined from information found within the man-db
mandb can be compiled with support for any one of the following database types.
Name Type Async Filename
Berkeley db Binary tree Yes index.bt
GNU gdbm v >= 1.6 Hashed Yes index.db
GNU gdbm v < 1.6 Hashed No index.db
UNIX ndbm Hashed No index.(dir|pag)
Those database types that support asynchronous updates provide enhanced speed at the cost
of possible corruption in the event of unusual termination. In an unusual case where this
has occurred, it may be necessary to rerun mandb with the -c option to re-create the data‐
bases from scratch.
Print debugging information.
Produce no warnings.
Do not spend time looking for or adding information to the databases regarding
Do not spend time checking for deleted manual pages and purging them from the data‐
By default, mandb will try to update any previously created databases. If a data‐
base does not exist, it will create it. This option forces mandb to delete previ‐
ous databases and re-create them from scratch, and implies --no-purge. This may be
necessary if a database becomes corrupt or if a new database storage scheme is
introduced in the future.
Create user databases only, even with write permissions necessary to create system
Perform correctness checks on manual pages in the hierarchy search path. With this
option, mandb will not alter existing databases.
Update only the entries for the given filename. This option is not for general
use; it is used internally by man when it has been compiled with the MAN_DB_UPDATES
option and finds that a page is out of date. It implies -p and disables -c and -s.
-C file, --config-file=file
Use this user configuration file rather than the default of ~/.manpath.
Show the usage message, then exit.
Print a short usage message and exit.
Show the version, then exit.
0 Successful program execution.
1 Usage, syntax, or configuration file error.
2 Operational error.
3 A child process failed.
The following warning messages can be emitted during database building.
<filename>: whatis parse for page(sec) failed
An attempt to extract whatis line(s) from the given <filename> failed. This is
usually due to a poorly written manual page, but if many such messages are emitted
it is likely that the system contains non-standard manual pages which are incompat‐
ible with the man-db whatis parser. See the WHATIS PARSING section in lexgrog(1)
for more information.
<filename>: is a dangling symlink
<filename> does not exist but is referenced by a symbolic link. Further diagnos‐
tics are usually emitted to identify the <filename> of the offending link.
<filename>: bad symlink or ROFF `.so' request
<filename> is either a symbolic link to, or contains a ROFF include request to, a
non existent file.
<filename>: ignoring bogus filename
The <filename> may or may not be a valid manual page but its name is invalid. This
is usually due to a manual page with sectional extension <x> being put in manual
page section <y>.
<filename_mask>: competing extensions
The wildcard <filename_mask> is not unique. This is usually caused by the exis‐
tence of both a compressed and uncompressed version of the same manual page. All
but the most recent are ignored.
man-db configuration file.
An FHS compliant global index database cache.
Older locations for the database cache included:
A traditional global index database cache.
An alternate or FSSTND compliant global index database cache.
lexgrog(1), man(1), manpath(5), catman(8)
The WHATIS PARSING section formerly in this manual page is now part of lexgrog(1).
Wilf. (G.Wilford AT ee.uk).
Fabrizio Polacco (fpolacco AT debian.org).
Colin Watson (cjwatson AT debian.org).
18.104.22.168 2014-09-28 MANDB(8)