Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I deleted the /usr/share/man/man1 directory and wondered if there was a quick way to recover the manuals for the installed packages.

share|improve this question

migrated from Jun 27 '11 at 0:14

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

You should be able to re-install them with apt-get. You can try... sudo apt-get install man manpages. – Joe Internet Jun 27 '11 at 1:56

Installing man page packages

According to here, you don't get a lot of man pages with the default Debian package selection. That guy said to run:

apt-get install manpages-dev

It looks like this page lists package names for various man page packages you can get.

Meta Packages / reconfigure

I'm generally an Ubuntu user over Debian, but they're quite related. For Ubuntu, I'd try something like:

dpkg-reconfigure ubuntu-desktop

In that case, 'ubuntu-desktop' in a meta package that defines the default packages to be installed with the desktop version of Ubuntu. There's got to be some debian equivalant.. perhaps "debian-desktop"? Maybe look in to that if you need to.

Good luck! Hope that helps!

share|improve this answer
Sorry about the tardy reply running 'mandb' seemed to restore them. – marabutt Jul 16 '11 at 1:07

The only way to restore all of those files will be to re-install any packages that had files installed there.

This command will show you a list of installed packages with files that belong in that directory:

dpkg -S /usr/share/man/man1

Then you can re-install those (or just the ones you care about) with:

aptitude reinstall <package name(s)>
share|improve this answer
Thanks for all your help everyone – marabutt Jun 27 '11 at 9:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.