Solaris Transition Guide

Man Page Organization Differences

Man page organization has changed to be compatible with SVR4 organization. As a result, some sections have been renamed. For example, man(8) is now man(1M).

Table 6-4 shows SunOS release 5.7 man page directories.

Table 6-4 SunOS release 5.7 man Page Directories

/man Directory




User commands 

1B - SunOS/BSD compatibility commands 



1C - Communication commands 



1F - FMLI commands 



1S - SunOS commands 


System administration commands 



System calls 



Library functions 

3B - SunOS/BSD compatibility libraries 



3C - C library functions 



3E - ELF library functions 



3G - C library functions 



3I - Wide Character functions 



3K - Kernel VM library functions 



3M - Math library 



3N - Network functions 



3R - RPC services library 



3S - Standard I/O functions 



3T - Threads library functions 



3X - Miscellaneous library functions 


File formats 

4B - SunOS/BSD compatibility file formats 


Headers, tables, and macros 



Special files 






DDI/DKI entry points 



DDI/DKI kernel functions 



DDI/DKI data structures 

Customizing the man Command Search Path

Unlike the SunOS release 4 software, which searched the individual man directories according to a predetermined order, the SunOS release 5.7 software lets you determine the search path. The man command uses the path set in the man page configuration file,

Each component of the MANPATH environment variable can contain a different file. You can modify to change the order of the search; for example, to search 3b before 3c. The configuration file for the /usr/share/man directory follows.

# Default configuration file for the on-line manual pages.

MANSECTS=1,1m,1c,1f,1s,1b,2,3,3c,3s,3x,3i,3t,3r,3n,3m,3k,3g, \

The arguments to MANSECTS are derived from the man subdirectories available. The number of subdirectories has increased dramatically in this release because each subsection has its own directory. This new structure improves the performance of the man command and gives you finer control over the search path. The next two figures compare the man directories for the two releases.

sunos4.1% ls /usr/share/man
man1/   man2/   man3/   man4/   man5/   man6/   man7/   man8/  
manl/   mann/

sunos5.6% ls /usr/share/man  man1f/  man3/   man3g/  man3n/  man3x/  man6/   man9f/
man1/   man1m/  man3b/  man3i/  man3r/  man4/   man7/   man9s/
man1b/  man1s/  man3c/  man3k/  man3s/  man4b/  man9/   manl/
man1c/  man2/   man3e/  man3m/  man3t/  man5/   man9e/  mann/

whatis and windex Databases

The SunOS release 4 man page table of contents and keyword database is called whatis. In the SunOS release 5.7 software, this information is in the windex file. In both releases, the database is created by the catman command, and is used by the man, apropos, and whatis commands.

The windex file also has a slightly different format than the whatis file, as you can see from the following comparison of the two release versions.

sunos4.1% man -k tset
tset, reset (1)    - establish or restore terminal characteristics

sunos5.6% man -k tset
reset  tset (1b)   - establish or restore terminal characteristics
tset   tset (1b)   - establish or restore terminal characteristics

Using the man Command

Table 6-5 shows that SunOS release 5.7 version of the man command has additional search options.

Table 6-5 New man Command Options




Displays all man pages that match file name. The pages are displayed sequentially in the order they are found.


Lists all man pages that match file name. You can use the output of this command to specify a section number with the -s option.

-s section-number

Searches section-number for file name. In the SunOS release 4 software, the man command accepted the section number as an option; in this release, the section number must be preceded by -s.


Forces the man command to search all directories until file name is found. This option overrides the windex database and the file.

See the man(1) man page for a complete description of the SunOS release 5.7 man command.