Originally Posted by p1esk
What do you mean by "going around man page database"? It seemed to me that having various versions of man pages scattered among multiple directories could potentially be bad for the man database.
What does mandb command (makewhatis on CentOS) do exactly?
That's what I meant.
Moving the pages around manually might very well break things. So keep a copy and put things back the way they were and nobody has to be the wiser...
It really isn't going to hurt anything, other than you might end up with a system that is so hosed that it makes more sense to re-install than it would to fix it.
So consider yourself forewarned.
But that is (for better or worse) part of many users early linux experiences. It was for me in any case...
You can install man-db for Centos:
As for what mandb does, here is what the man page for it says:
"mandb is used to initialise or manually update index database caches
that are usually maintained by man. The caches contain information
relevant to the current state of the manual page system and the infor‐
mation stored within them is used by the man-db utilities to enhance
their speed and functionality.
When creating or updating an index, mandb will warn of bad ROFF .so
requests, bogus manual page filenames and manual pages from which the
whatis cannot be parsed.
Supplying mandb with an optional colon-delimited path will override the
internal system manual page hierarchy search path, determined from
information found within the man-db configuration file."
So if you like, run mandb while supplying the path to the new location of your man pages. It should work, it what it does.