MAN.CONF(5) File Formats Manual MAN.CONF(5)

man.confman(1) and manpath(1) configuration files

The man.conf file is used to configure the manual search path, locales, and utility set for man(1) and its related utilities. During initialization, man(1) reads the configuration files located at /usr/local/etc/man.d/*.conf and /etc/man.conf.

The files contained in /usr/local/etc/man.d/*.conf are intended to be used by the ports(7) system for extending the manual set to support additional paths and locales. /etc/man.conf is intended to be used by the local administrator to set additional policy.

Currently supported configuration variables include:

Overrides the default location to import additional manual configuration files. Defaults to /usr/local/etc/man.d/*.conf.
Adds the specified directory to the manual search path.
Indicates support is available for the given locale.

For pages in a given language, overriding the default toolset for display is supported via the following definitions:


See the EXAMPLES section for how to use these variables.

The parser used for this utility is very basic and only supports comment characters (#) at the beginning of a line.

System configuration file.
Local configuration files.

A perl port that needs to install additional manual pages outside of the default location could install a file in /usr/local/etc/man.d/perl.conf with the following contents:

# Add perl man pages to search path
MANPATH /usr/local/lib/perl5/5.8.9/man
MANPATH /usr/local/lib/perl5/5.8.9/perl/man

A Japanese localization port could install a custom toolset and include a file in /usr/local/etc/man.d/ja-man-doc.conf with the following contents:

# Setup Japanese toolset
EQN_JA		/usr/local/bin/geqn
PIC_JA		/usr/local/bin/gpic
TBL_JA		/usr/local/bin/gtbl
NROFF_JA	/usr/local/bin/groff -man -dlang=ja_JP.eucJP
TROFF_JA	/usr/local/bin/groff -man

If the system administrator decides to override the LOCALBASE make(1) variable causing all ports(7) to be installed into /opt instead of /usr/local, specifying the following in /etc/man.conf will accommodate this change:

# Look for additional configuration files
MANCONFIG /opt/etc/man.d/*.conf

apropos(1), man(1), manpath(1), whatis(1)

June 3, 2011 macOS 14.1