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My OS is Slackware 14 I'm using i3 as a window manager. However, if I use man bash in Fluxbox I don't get that error. If I use man bash in the console I don't get that error. 'echo $TERM' in i3 returns xterm and in the console 'echo $TERM' returns linux.
It appears to be harmless since I can still read the manpage but it is quite annoying.
The end parts of the output will tell you what commands 'man' is trying to run to format and display the manual page. It might help troubleshoot.
Do you get the same thing if you let the man page run to the end, rather than 'q' before it is done? (I realize those are very long pages.)
Is man using "less" to display the man pages? What are these environment variables set to: PAGER MANPAGER LESS ?
man -d gcc returns:
/home/jstg $ man -d gcc
Reading config file /usr/lib/man.conf
found man directory /usr/man
found man directory /usr/share/man
found man directory /usr/local/man
found man directory /usr/local/share/man
found man directory /usr/X11R6/man
found manpath map /bin --> /usr/share/man
found manpath map /sbin --> /usr/share/man
found manpath map /usr/bin --> /usr/share/man
found manpath map /usr/sbin --> /usr/share/man
found manpath map /usr/local/bin --> /usr/local/share/man
found manpath map /usr/local/sbin --> /usr/local/share/man
found manpath map /usr/X11R6/bin --> /usr/X11R6/man
found manpath map /usr/bin/X11 --> /usr/X11R6/man
found manpath map /usr/bin/mh --> /usr/share/man
using /usr/bin/less -is as pager
using /usr/bin/lynx as browser
using /usr/bin/lynx -dump to dump HTML pages as text
adding /usr/local/man to manpath
adding /usr/man to manpath
adding /usr/share/texmf/man to manpath
gzip: stdout: Broken pipe
no cat page stored because of nonstandard line length
gzip: stdout: Broken pipe
using default preprocessor sequence
found tbl(1) directive
not executing command:
(cd "/usr/man" && (echo ".ll 12.7i"; echo ".nr LL 12.7i"; echo ".pl 1100i"; /bin/gunzip -c '/usr/man/man1/gcc.1.gz'; echo ".\\\""; echo ".pl \n(nlu+10") | /usr/bin/gtbl | /usr/bin/nroff -mandoc | /usr/bin/less -is)
If I type in man bash or man gcc then scroll to the bottom I get the same error minus the bit about grotty. I just get the gzip: stdout: Broken pipe.
I don't know why you are seeing those errors, but I have a little info if you or anyone else wants to try to figure this out.
Even "man -d", which doesn't actually format and display the man page, still runs "gzip -d -c" on the man page source. (That explains why you are getting the errors even with "man -d".) If I trace "man -d", I see the gzip process, and it does stop with a broken pipe error (EPIPE) - this just means the pipe reader closed its end before gzip was done. I assume this is the normal behavior for "man". The question is why is that error reported with that window manager, rather than ignored as it is for me, and for you with console or other window managers. I have no ideas on this.
At this point I can only imagine this problem is somehow i3 specific since I cannot recreate it in Fluxbox or in the console. Both i3 and Fluxbox are running under the same resolution with the same .Xresources file. However, xterm is called with alt-F1 in Fluxbox and in i3 super+return launches a "sensible terminal" which shows xterm when I echo $TERM.
Also not sure if it's related but if I'm using i3 as my regular user and launch a terminal and su - to root, when I first run slackpkg I get lots of grep write errors and sed write errors. Again these problems are not present in the console or with Fluxbox.