[tex-live] experience report; suggestions

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 10:02:37 CEST 2009

2009/8/28 Karl Berry <karl at freefriends.org>:
>    RHEL5 and most recent Fedoras (AFAIK) do
>    not use MANPATH or INFOPATH.
> I'll be depressed if that's really true, though it's certainly possible.
> It would create a fundamental incompatibility with how Unix systems have
> always been set up.
CentOS 5 is based upon RHEL5 and it does use MANPATH. This is the
relevant part of "man man":

       man  uses a sophisticated method of finding manual page files,
based on the invocation options and environment
       variables, the /etc/man.config configuration file, and some
built in conventions and heuristics.

       First of all, when the name argument to man contains a slash
(/), man  assumes  it  is  a  file  specification
       itself, and there is no searching involved.

       But  in  the  normal case where name doesn't contain a slash,
man searches a variety of directories for a file
       that could be a manual page for the topic named.

       If you specify the -M pathlist option, pathlist  is  a
colon-separated  list  of  the  directories  that  man

       If  you  don't  specify -M but set the MANPATH environment
variable, the value of that variable is the list of
       the directories that man searches.

       If you don't specify an explicit path list with -M or MANPATH,
man develops its own path  list  based  on  the
       contents of the configuration file /etc/man.config.  The
MANPATH statements in the configuration file identify
       particular directories to include in the search path.

       Furthermore, the MANPATH_MAP statements add to the search path
depending on your  command  search  path  (i.e.
       your  PATH  environment  variable).   For each directory that
may be in the command search path, a MANPATH_MAP
       statement specifies a directory that should be added to the
search path for manual page files.  man  looks  at
       the  PATH variable and adds the corresponding directories to
the manual page file search path.  Thus, with the
       proper use of MANPATH_MAP, when you issue the command man xyz,
you get a manual  page  for  the  program  that
       would run if you issued the command xyz.

       In addition, for each directory in the command search path
(we'll call it a "command directory") for which you
       do not have a MANPATH_MAP statement, man automatically looks
for a manual page directory "nearby" namely as  a
       subdirectory in the command directory itself or in the parent
directory of the command directory.

       You can disable the automatic "nearby" searches by including a
NOAUTOPATH statement in /etc/man.config.

       In  each directory in the search path as described above, man
searches for a file named topic.section, with an
       optional suffix on the section number and possibly a
compression suffix.  If it doesn't find such a  file,  it
       then looks in any subdirectories named manN or catN where N is
the manual section number.  If the file is in a
       catN subdirectory, man assumes it is a formatted manual page
file (cat page).  Otherwise, man  assumes  it  is
       unformatted.   In  either  case,  if the filename has a known
compression suffix (like .gz), man assumes it is

>    Setting, e.g.
>    INFOPATH=/usr/local/texlive/2009/texmf/doc/inf:$INFOPATH means ONLY
>    the info files in /usr/local/texlive/2009/texmf/doc/inf are found.
> Well, it depends on what the INFOPATH variable was set to previously.
> The original info program definitely supports the same sort of mechanism
> as TeX, where you can say
> INFOPATH=/some/dir:
> and /some/dir will be prepended to the compiled-in list of paths.
> FWIW, I just tried the system info on my CentOS 5.3 system and it worked ok.
> Best,
> Karl

Zdeněk Wagner

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