Announcing the Ubuntu Manpage Repository: manpages.ubuntu.com

September 5, 2008

I love the Ubuntu Wiki, and I think the Official Ubuntu Documentation is great!  These are two important reasons why Ubuntu has been such a successful Linux distribution.

But at the end of the day, I’m a terminal-and-manpage kind of a guy.

Earlier this year, I found myself on IRC answering basic questions from an Ubuntu user about some random utility, and I asked him if he had read the manpage yet.  He responded that he had read whatever he could find on the web, but he didn’t really dabble on the command line in general.

It occurred to me that there may well be a contingent of Ubuntu users who are entirely disconnected from the wealth of resources so many developers have poured into manpage-based documentation.

A cursory search turned up a couple of RH-based, or advertisement-riddled Linux manpage websites.  I also found manpages.debian.net, which is closer to the Ubuntu target, but unfortunately, the pages are CGI-generated and thus not indexable by Google/Yahoo.

So I submitted a request-for-comments to the Ubuntu Documentation team, and no one could point me to an existing web repository of Ubuntu’s manpages.  I started the obligatory Launchpad Blueprint, Wiki Specification, and Bazaar project.

And as of today, the Ubuntu Manpage Repository is live at:

This site contains nearly 300,000 HTML viewable manpages included in Ubuntu releases (Dapper, Feisty, Gutsy, Hardy, Intrepid) and across all of (main, universe, restricted, multiverse) and across all languages where manpages are available.  It is automatically updated daily.

I expect there are some remaining issues, or oddball manpages missing from the archive due to not matching my regular expressions.  I invite you to file bugs against the ubuntu-manpage-repository Launchpad project.

The site also hosts the gzipped manpages too, and I’m working on a patch to man(1) that would optionally fail over to remotely retrieve a requested manpage if not found on the local system.

Thanks to Kees Cook, Jamie Strandboge, and Colin Watson for their patches and code review, as well as LaMont Jones for helping bring the site online!

:-Dustin

23 Responses to “Announcing the Ubuntu Manpage Repository: manpages.ubuntu.com”

  1. ulmoo Says:

    nice work 🙂 this is going to be quite useful!


  2. […] Intrepid. Como bien comenta Dustin en su blog (el usuario que pensó y creó el sitio) en post que anuncia el nuevo repositorio, el wiki oficial de Ubuntu y el equipo de documentación están haciendo un gran trabajo, pero […]


  3. […] Intrepid. Como bien comenta Dustin en su blog (el usuario que pensó y creó el sitio) en post que anuncia el nuevo repositorio, el wiki oficial de Ubuntu y el equipo de documentación están haciendo un gran trabajo, pero […]


  4. Announcing the Ubuntu Manpage Repository | nerdd.net…

    \r\nhttp://manpages.ubuntu.com – This site contains nearly 300,000 HTML viewable manpages included i…


  5. […] and across all languages where manpages are available. It is automatically updated daily.read more | digg story Uncategorized […]

  6. peterhoffmann Says:

    Great Work!

    And what I really like to see on top of it would be some possibility to add comments to the man pages like you can do e.g. on http://djangobook.com/en/1.0/chapter04/

    So the users could share tips and tricks about the programs they use.

  7. muszek Says:

    Is there any good reason for lines being wrapped at column 72? I understand that fixed-width font has its merits (as manpages are somewhat code-centric), but really, we kinda like not having to scroll.

  8. muszek Says:

    Forgot to say: nice job and thanks 🙂

  9. jalada Says:

    This is excellent! I’m often finding myself googling ‘command man page’ to try and find an online man page for a command, now I know where to go first (and presumably Google will be able to index this manpage repository and hopefully PageRank will be nice to it).

    Nice work 🙂


  10. […] Announcing the Ubuntu Manpage Repository Share: […]


  11. […] Intrepid. Como bien comenta Dustin en su blog (el usuario que pensó y creó el sitio) en post que anuncia el nuevo repositorio, el wiki oficial de Ubuntu y el equipo de documentación están haciendo un gran trabajo, pero […]


  12. […] and across all languages where manpages are available. It is automatically updated daily. -https://dustinkirkland.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/announcing-the-ubuntu-manpage-repository-manpagesubun… *Install ubuntu without an optical drive using UNetbootin A utility that you can use to create a […]


  13. […] 16, 2008 I wrote a little over a week ago to announce the Ubuntu Manpage Repository.  I must say that the response has been tremendous, thanks to some […]


  14. […] προσπάθεια του Ubuntu Manpage Repository, η δημιουργία της οποίας ανακοινώθηκε μόλις πριν λίγες μέρες, σύντομα όμως απέκτησε μια καλή θέση στη λίστα των […]


  15. […] Intrepid. Como bien comenta Dustin en su blog (el usuario que pensó y creó el sitio) en post que anuncia el nuevo repositorio, el wiki oficial de Ubuntu y el equipo de documentación están haciendo un gran trabajo, pero […]


  16. […] Ubuntu Manpage Repository – This site contains nearly 300,000 HTML viewable manpages included in Ubuntu releases (Dapper, Feisty, Gutsy, Hardy, Intrepid) and across all of (main, universe, restricted, multiverse) and across all languages where manpages are available. It is automatically updated daily. […]


  17. […] Launched almost 2 years ago, the ‘Ubuntu Manpage Repository’ website is a collection of Ubuntu command-line generated manuals, harvested from every installed package of every supported version of Ubuntu, from Ubuntu 6.06 LTS to upcoming Ubuntu 10.04 LTS – manpages are updated on a daily basis and are available in over 40 different languages – all languages with manpages. […]


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