Announcing the Ubuntu Manpage Repository

Dustin Kirkland kirkland at
Wed Sep 10 03:58:37 BST 2008

On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 12:55 PM, Dotan Cohen <dotancohen at> wrote:
> That is because those websites is not designed to be friendly to web
> crawlers. Web crawlers use up bandwidth that is meant for humans. You
> can see this fact in their link structure, and they specifically
> request that web crawlers do not access them:
> <META name="robots" content="nofollow">
> robots.txt:

Good catch, thanks.  I should have thought to look for that.

> I actually see very few manpages available. If they are automatically
> generated from the current packages, then why are they not available
> on the site? For instance, in the /en folder of both hardy and
> intrepid there are only one manpage each. This is not a fundamental
> issue as were the previous issues that I mention, so if it is a
> temporary error than no big deal.

Try, instead:
 * (~17,911 pages)
 * (~414 pages)
 * (~17,610 pages)
 * (~207 pages)
 * (~1341 pages)
 * (~983 pages)
 * (~467 pages)
 * (~3925 pages)
 * (~8 pages)

This is a symptom of where manpages are installed by various packages.
 Look on your local Ubuntu system in /usr/share/man/en if it exists at
all (it doesn't on my very heavily loaded Ubuntu desktop).  However,
there are a couple of packages that install manpages there.

I'll open a bug and fix this in the repository by basically symlinking
these directories into the "en" locale.

> The end-user documentation in the form of How-Tos and guides in Ubuntu
> is getting better and better all the time. However, it is the
> traditional documentation sources that are marginalized, and if you
> can address that then I support you 100%. But if you are simple
> duplicating efforts then obviously I discourage that.

The goal of the Ubuntu Manpage Repository project is to make Ubuntu
manpage documentation more accessible to Ubuntu users.  I'll quote the
anecdote I used on my blog entry announcing the project:

    Earlier this year, I found myself on IRC answering basic
    questions from an Ubuntu user about some random utility,
    and I asked him if he had read the manpage yet.  He
    responded that he had read whatever he could find on the
    web, but he didn't really dabble on the command line in general.

    It occurred to me that there may well be a contingent of Ubuntu
    users who are entirely disconnected from the wealth of resources
    so many developers have poured into manpage-based documentation.


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