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I am running Mac snow leopard 10.6.3 and I used a mac installer program for git that was designed originally for leopard. I think since then my man pages have been broken and attempting to look up any command makes my computer stall for a bit before returning 'no manpage found.' Where do I begin fixing this? Thanks.

Here's the debug output for man man:

$ man -d man
Reading config file /private/etc/man.conf
Looked whether there exists a message catalog man, but there is none
(and for English messages none is needed)

found man directory /usr/share/man
found man directory /usr/local/share/man
found man directory /usr/X11/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/X11/bin --> /usr/X11/man
found manpath map /usr/bin/X11 --> /usr/X11/man
found manpath map /usr/bin/mh --> /usr/share/man

using /usr/bin/less -is as pager

using /usr/bin/less -is as browser

using /bin/cat to dump HTML pages as text
path directory /usr/bin is in the config file
adding /usr/share/man to manpath

path directory /bin is in the config file

path directory /usr/sbin is in the config file

path directory /sbin is in the config file

path directory /usr/local/bin is in the config file
adding /usr/local/share/man to manpath

path directory /usr/local/git/bin is not in the config file
but there is a man directory nearby
adding /usr/local/git/share/man to manpath

path directory /usr/X11/bin is in the config file
adding /usr/X11/man to manpath

adding mandatory man directories

No manual entry for man
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All these checks seem to work out. Nothing that I can see is obviously wrong. Clearly something is happening with the git, but I don't know enough to know what that might do to my manpath if anything. –  user37929 May 22 '10 at 18:09
Here is $ man --path: /usr/share/man:/usr/local/share/man:/usr/local/git/share/man:/usr/X11/man –  user37929 May 22 '10 at 18:48
$MANPATH is empty –  user37929 May 22 '10 at 18:49
What's in /usr/share/man? –  Doug Harris May 24 '10 at 1:00
$ ls /usr/share/man fr man3 pl fr.ISO8859-1 man4 pl.ISO8859-2 fr.UTF-8 man5 pl.UTF-8 it man6 ru.KOI8-R it.ISO8859-1 man7 ru.UTF-8 it.UTF-8 man8 whatis man1 man9 whatis (from old Mac) man2 mann –  user37929 May 24 '10 at 3:21
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3 Answers

I would say, man man, but I guess that wouldn't help you! :-)

First, do which man to make sure you're still running the Mac OS X system default /usr/bin/man. Check to make sure it's not corrupted. FWIW, on my 10.6.3 system, here's its md5:

$ md5 `which man`
MD5 (/usr/bin/man) = 20c983ccab20dbea7aa76608b27aa148

Next, look at /etc/man.conf to see how your MANPATH is configured (note: this won't necessarily show up in your $MANPATH environment variable).

In case you want to check if your man.conf got corrupted, here's some summary info on mine. I'm on 10.6.3 also, and I don't think I've ever changed my man.conf:

$ md5 /etc/man.conf  
MD5 (/etc/man.conf) = 56592a53f75e08418362d2cfcf675e52  
$ wc -l /etc/man.conf  
     140 /etc/man.conf  

If your man.conf looks sane, start looking at the MANPATH paths it specifies to see if those directories exist and are populated appropriately. /usr/share/man is a big one.

I suppose you could check your man cat dir (cached versions of prerendered man pages) as well, but on my 10.6.3 system, there doesn't appear to be a cat dir for man pages.

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My guess is that what you've installed has added some extra directories to your MANPATH and likely nuked some standard directories from MANPATH.

First run man --path to determine which directories man will search for man pages. Here's what I see:

$ man --path

If you don't see /usr/share/man in this output, you won't get standard man pages.

The delay you're seeing could also be related to man rebuilding its index of pages and/or doing some preformatting for the stuff you've installed.

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The more I think about it, the more I like Doug's answer as the quick, simple, and likely thing to try first. I wouldn't be surprised if that git installer set your MANPATH environment variable, which is usually unset. If they did it by "MANPATH=$MANPATH:/path/to/git/man/pages", it would only contain the path to the git man pages, and since it overrides /etc/man.conf, that could explain everything. –  Spiff May 21 '10 at 21:19
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I've had this problem for forever on OS X 10.6.x (where x has been at least 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8).

Today, I finally got frustrated with it and have been following whatever online threads I could find. Thanks primarily to the troubleshooting suggestions on this page, I solved the problem. It turns out that the solution to the problem on my computer was hinted at in the comments by Spiff and user37929. My /usr/share/man folder was missing LOTS of key files including man.1.gz (I didn't have precisely user37929's problem because I did have files in the man1 folder that began with letters after "L"). Once I copied several of the missing files from a friend's computer, the man pages returned and I don't get the error any more (for the ones I copied).

So, in my case it looks like I need a wholesale restoration of /usr/share/man. That'll be a project for a future day!

Oh, and I installed git forever ago too, but I think I had this problem before that.

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