Manual Pages

Many Void packages come with manual ('man') pages. The default installation includes the mandoc manpage toolset, via the mdocml package.

The man(1) command can be used to show man pages:

$ man chroot

Every man page belongs to a particular section:

  • 1: User commands (Programs)
  • 2: System calls
  • 3: Library calls
  • 4: Special files (devices)
  • 5: File formats and configuration files
  • 6: Games
  • 7: Overview, conventions, and miscellaneous
  • 8: System management commands

Refer to man-pages(7) for details.

There are some man pages which have the same name, but are used in different contexts, and are thus in a different section. You can specify which one to use by including the section number in the call to man:

$ man 1 printf

man can be configured via man.conf(5).

The mandoc toolset contains apropos(1), which can be used to search for manual pages. apropos uses a database that can be generated and updated with the makewhatis(8) command:

# makewhatis
$ apropos chroot
chroot(1) - run command or interactive shell with special root directory
xbps-uchroot(1) - XBPS utility to chroot and bind mount with Linux namespaces
xbps-uunshare(1) - XBPS utility to chroot and bind mount with Linux user namespaces
chroot(2) - change root directory

The mdocml package provides a cron job to update the database daily, /etc/cron.daily/makewhatis. You will need to install and enable a cron daemon for this functionality to be activated.

Development and POSIX manuals are not installed by default, but are available via the man-pages-devel and man-pages-posix packages.

Localized manual pages

It is also possible to use localized man pages from packages which provide their own as well as those provided by the manpages-* packages. However, this can require some configuration.

With mdocml

If mdocml is being used and the settings should be applied for all users, it is necessary to add the relevant paths to man.conf(5). For example, German speakers would add these two lines to their configuration file:


Alternatively, each user can export the MANPATH variable in their environment, as explained in man(1).