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AIX Version 4.3 Commands Reference, Volume 1

catman Command


Creates the cat files for the manual.


catman [ -n -p -w ] [ -MPath ] Section ... ] 


The catman command creates the preformatted versions of the online manual from the nroff command input files. The catman command examines each manual page and recreates those pages whose preformatted versions are missing or out of date. If any changes are made, the catman command recreates the whatis command database.


-n Prevents creation of the whatis command database.
-p Prints the names of the manual pages that need to be recreated or updated without recreating or updating them.
-w Reads the BSD-style manual pages in the /usr/share/man/cat?/*.* and /usr/share/man/man?/*.* files; then reads the hypertext information bases installed under the /usr/share/man/info directory, and creates the /usr/share/man/whatis database. If the MANPATH environment variable is set, a different database will be created in each directory that appears in MANPATH. Each of these will be built from the cat?/*.* and man?/*.* files for that particular directory. The HTML Library information will be built into the default /usr/share/man/whatis database if it is included in MANPATH or if the MANPATH environment variable is not set.
-M Path Updates manual pages located in the set of directories specified by the Path variable (the /usr/share/man directory by default).The Path variable has the form of a colon (:) separated by a list of directory names. For example:

If the environment variable MANPATH is set, its value is used for the default path. If the nroff command source file contains a line such as:

' .so manx/yyy.x'

a symbolic link is made in the catx directory to the appropriate preformatted manual page. This allows easy distribution of the preformatted manual pages among a group of associated machines using the rdist command.

The nroff command sources need not be distributed to all machines, thus saving the associated disk space.

For example, a local network of five machines (called mach1 through mach5) has mach3 with the manual page nroff command sources. Every night, mach3 runs the catman command by using the cron daemon and later runs the rdist command with a distfile file that looks like the following:

MANSLAVES = (mach1 mach2 mach4 mach5)
MANUALS = (/usr/share/man/cat[1-8no] /usr/share/man/whatis)
install -R;
notify root;


To update manual sections 1, 2, and 3 only, enter:

catman 123


/usr/lbin/getNAME Contains the command to create the whatis database.
/usr/share/man Specifies the default manual directory location.
/usr/share/man/man?/*.* Contains the raw (the nroff command input) manual sections.
/usr/share/man/cat?/*.* Contains preformatted manual pages.
/usr/share/man/whatis Contains the whatis command database.
/usr/lbin/mkwhatis Contains the command script to make the whatis command database.

Related Information

The man command, nroff command and rdist command.

The cron daemon.

The distfile file.

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