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Old 11-15-2003, 01:06 AM   #1
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Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware-current, Red Hat 9
Posts: 18

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'apropos' and 'whatis' not returning info when 'man' does


I'm running Slackware current and I just installed realvnc with its man pages. My problem is that I can read the man pages when I do 'man vncserver' but when I do 'whatis vncserver' or 'apropos vnc' I get the response 'nothing appropriate'. What I run 'man --path vncserver' I get the response '/usr/local/man/man1/vncserver.1'. I don’t understand why man can find the man page but apropos and whatis can not.

I have tried reading the man pages for whatis and apropos but both of the man pages for those programs are very short and do not mention any sort of config file; I assume they use ‘man.conf’. I tried running 'makewhatis' to recreate the whatis database but that did not help, I still get the error 'nothing appropriate' when I try 'whatis vncserver'. I also tried reading ‘man man.conf’ but it doesn’t say much about the format of the ‘man.conf’ file. I also opened up man.conf to have a look inside to see if maybe it’s not pointing to the right directory but I’m really new at linux so I don’t know if anything out of place.

Here is a copy of my man.conf:
# NOCACHE keeps man from creating cache pages ("cat pages")
# (generally one enables/disable cat page creation by creating/deleting
# the directory they would live in - man never does mkdir)
# Useful paths - note that COL should not be defined when
# NROFF is defined as "groff -Tascii" or "groff -Tlatin1";
# not only is it superfluous, but it actually damages the output.
# For use with utf-8, NROFF should be "nroff -mandoc" without -T option.
# (Maybe - but today I need -Tlatin1 to prevent double conversion to utf8.)
# If you have a new troff (version 1.18.1?) and its colored output
# causes problems, add the -c option to TROFF, NROFF, JNROFF.
TROFF /usr/bin/groff -S -Tps -mandoc
NROFF /usr/bin/nroff -S -mandoc
JNROFF /usr/bin/groff -Tnippon -mandocj
EQN /usr/bin/geqn -Tps
NEQN /usr/bin/geqn -Tlatin1
JNEQN /usr/bin/geqn -Tnippon
TBL /usr/bin/gtbl
# COL /usr/bin/col
REFER /usr/bin/grefer
PIC /usr/bin/gpic
PAGER /usr/bin/less -is
CAT /bin/cat
# The command "man -a xyzzy" will show all man pages for xyzzy.
# When CMP is defined man will try to avoid showing the same
# text twice. (But compressed pages compare unequal.)
CMP /usr/bin/cmp -s
# Compress cat pages
COMPRESS /bin/bzip2
# Default manual sections (and order) to search if -S is not specified
# and the MANSECT environment variable is not set.
MANSECT 1:8:2:3:4:5:6:7:9:tcl:n:l
# Default options to use when man is invoked without options
# This is mainly for the benefit of those that think -a should be the default
# Note that some systems have /usr/man/allman, causing pages to be shown twice.
# Decompress with given decompressor when input file has given extension
# The command given must act as a filter.
.gz /bin/gunzip -c
.bz2 /bin/bzip2 -c -d
.Z /bin/zcat
<Agh I hope I didn't say or do anything stupid or not post enough information, still really new at this. >
Old 11-15-2003, 01:44 AM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Germany
Distribution: Slackware 7.0 - 10.0
Posts: 26

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take a look @ /usr/man/whatis

only if the manual located in this file it will be shown by whatis ...
enter it there and the great magic shall work 8)
Old 11-15-2003, 11:46 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware-current, Red Hat 9
Posts: 18

Original Poster
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Thanks sh0 it worked like a charm.


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