Man pages and Cat error
I am having some errors with my linux system. I am running Ubuntu on a VPS server. I have not logged into it in quite some time but I logged in today and I can navigate around and see my files and everything, but man pages and cating anything don't seem to work. It just shows a blank screen with the (END) tab and no matter which direction keys I hit it dings at me. Only thing that does anything is to :q back to the command line.
Also, when I go for the abbreviated version (man -f ...) it says "[command]: Nothing Appropriate"
Has anyone ever seen this before?
Thank you in advance for your help!
Do you see anything if you do
$ ls -l /usr/share/man
$ echo $MANPATH
The first one yields about 420 files
Originally Posted by salem
The MANPATH is a blank line when I look for that. I assume that is the issue.
My MANPATH is also blank, which means man will look in the default place (which is /usr/share/man)
It seems perhaps that the cache database has been lost.
If you read the man page for man (there are plenty online), you'll find the command(s) you need to refresh the database.
How are you logging in to your server? If you are using ssh or telnet maybe there is a language/locale/character set mismatch
I've never been able to appreciate the sublime arrogance of folks who feel they were put on earth just to save other folks from themselves .." - Donald Hamilton
I am using PUTTY (ssh client). And is there a reason to think that issue would be specific to the man pages? The info pages are working fine (at least for the few that I have tried) and I can navigate around just fine.
Originally Posted by Doug G
I believe something has happened to the cat program. I did "man -w cp" and found the location and the cp.1.gz file exists and is 16KB (although admittedly I'm not familiar with how to handle the file format) but when I cat it directly I get some nonsensical file that I need to manually kill on order to get the command line back. So not sure what else I can do to further diagnose this or fix it.
July 10th, 2013, 12:47 AM
Who is the sysadmin for the box you ssh into?
> The info pages are working fine (at least for the few that I have tried) and I can navigate around just fine.
info is the preferred format for manual pages. Some man pages I have are just stubs which say "go read the info page".
It could be your sysadmin has disabled the man pages (although not completely removed them).
> I believe something has happened to the cat program. I did "man -w cp" and found the location and the cp.1.gz file exists
.gz files are compressed.
Try using zcat instead, which will first uncompress the file, and then print it.
Or something like
cp /usr/share/man/man1/cp.1.gz .
Note the result is a troff file (the original Unix text formatting program), which as well as containing the actual text, also contains all the formatting instructions.