mandb - create or update the manual page index caches
] [-C file
] [-C file
is used to initialise or manually update index
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
will warn of bad ROFF
.so requests, bogus manual page filenames and manual pages from which the
cannot be parsed.
with an optional colon-delimited path will override the
internal system manual page hierarchy search path, determined from information
found within the man-db configuration file.
can be compiled with support for any one of the following database
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
with the -c
option to re-create the databases from
- -d, --debug
- Print debugging information.
- -q, --quiet
- Produce no warnings.
- -s, --no-straycats
- Do not spend time looking for or adding information to the databases
regarding stray cats.
- -p, --no-purge
- Do not spend time checking for deleted manual pages and purging them from
- -c, --create
- By default, mandb will try to update any previously created
databases. If a database does not exist, it will create it. This option
forces mandb to delete previous 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.
- -u, --user-db
- Create user databases only, even with write permissions necessary to
create system databases.
- -t, --test
- Perform correctness checks on manual pages in the hierarchy search path.
With this option, mandb will not alter existing databases.
- -f, --filename
- 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with the MAN_DB_UPDATES option and finds that a page is out of
date.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
- -?, --help
- Show the usage message, then exit.
- Print a short usage message and exit.
- -V, --version
- Show the version, then exit.
- Successful program execution.
- Usage, syntax, or configuration file error.
- Operational error.
- 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 incompatible with the man-db whatis
parser. See the WHATIS PARSING section in lexgrog(1) for
- <filename>: is a dangling symlink
- <filename> does not exist but is referenced by a symbolic link.
Further diagnostics 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 existence 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.
The WHATIS PARSING
section formerly in this manual page is now part of
Fabrizio Polacco (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Colin Watson (email@example.com).