3.9 | 93 Votes
What is a MAN file?
Help manual (called a "man page") used by the Unix Man utility, a program used to view documentation; contains information about a Unix command or other Unix function; can be viewed within a unix shell using the man command.
Unix man pages rarely use the ".man" extension. Rather, they use the extensions ".1" (.1 files) through ".8" for user manuals in one of eight sections:
- General user commands
- System calls
- C library functions
- Devices and network interfaces
- File formats
- Linux-specific kernel routines
Man page filenames contain the command (or topic name) followed by the section number. For example, a section 1 man page for the command "example_cmd" would have the filename "example_cmd.1." Man pages are sometimes compressed with .GZ compression and use the compound ".gz.1" extension (or ".gz.2" for the second section, and so forth).
Man pages can be viewed by typing man [section] [page], where [section] is the man page section, and [page] is the user manual name. If no section is supplied, the man utility assumes section 1.
NOTE: Since man pages are stored in a plain text format, they can be created and edited with any text editor.