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Many man pages include an index e.g. pkg-info (1) and sometimes the same man page references the same base but with different indices e.g. pkg-info (4).

What does the index stand for?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The index indicates the section the information falls under

  1. General Commands
  2. System Calls
  3. Subroutines
  4. Special Files
  5. File Formats
  6. Games
  7. Macros and Conventions
  8. Maintenence Commands

For eaxample

man 1 pkg-info

will give the man page related to the command and

man 4 pkg-info

will give info related to special files for pkg-info


pkginfo(1) -- display software package and/or set information

pkginfo(4) -- package characteristics file pkginfo is an ASCII file that describes the characteristics of the package along with information that helps control the flow of installation.

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Use man -a pkginfo to view all sections (one after another). – Cristian Ciupitu Sep 28 '09 at 14:06

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