On 2006-07-14 (Fri) 06:55:28 [+0000], Matthew Seaman wrote:
> J wrote:
> > FreeBSD, recently, as my transported Linux bash configs contained
> > MANPATH=$MANPATH:/custom/manpath. What I never figured out was the
> > rationale for this. Anyone mind me asking what's wrong with MANPATH or
> > why manpath.config is exclusively favored? For instance, while I have a
> > /usr/lib/man.conf on my Linux system and can set the default manpath
> > there, man happily coexists with any MANPATH. How does one add a custom
> > manpath without root privileges? Etc. Just curious; thanks.
> The manpath(1) program is designed to provide standard system-wide
> operation of the man(1) command.  It covers all of the places the
> ports system will put manpages and all of the system manpages.  That
> is generally sufficient for most sites.
> If you have a customised directory layout and start putting man pages in
> unusual places, then you've got two choices.  If these oddly located man
> pages are for general consumption, then add the appropriate info to
> /etc/manpath.config -- by editing that one file you will make those
> manpages visible immediately to all users on the system.
> Otherwise if you have your own private stache of manpages you should
> set MANPATH in your shell initialization scripts.  However, you should
> not assume that MANPATH is already set so that you can just append to
> it. To get the best of both worlds, set your local $MANPATH based on the
> output of manpath(1).  For Bourne-type shells, something like:
>       MANPATH="${MANPATH:-$(manpath)}:/foo/bar/man:/baz/quux/man"
>       export MANPATH
> Or to ignore any previous setting of MANPATH in the environment:
>       MANPATH="$( unset MANPATH ; manpath ):/foo/bar/man:/baz/quux/man"
>       export MANPATH
> csh equivalents are left as an exercise for the student.

Thanks for your time and reply. I'm afraid I'm still failing to see the
special advantage in the 'MANPATH-produces-warning' method, but I
suppose it's a 'when in Rome'. :)
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