Having access to man pages on your server is a pretty essential asset to be familiar with. If you’re not familiar with man pages they are documentation provided with software packages on Unix systems. They provide a sort of manual for applications, services and system resources. You can learn more about man pages in our introductory article. By default on Ubuntu based servers this command is not provided, since it’s a great tool to have access to this article will help you get them setup.
Installing man pages on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
By default most Linux based OS distributions will include the `man` command out of the box. In those cases you won’t have to do much at all, if your installation doesn’t include man pages then you’re just a quick command away! The best way to check what situation you’re in is to run the command, so we’ll open up a command line and run:
So if you have the man command by default you’ll end up seeing the manual page for the man command. If you see this man page come up then you’re all set, no need to do anything.
However, if your server doesn’t have the man command available you’ll see the following output:
-bash: man: command not found
If this is the case then you’ll simply run the following commands to get man page command setup and ready to use:
apt update && apt upgrade && apt install man
Executing the command above will update your Ubuntu server’s software repositories, upgrade the applications and then install the man package. That is it, you now have access to the software man pages on your Ubuntu server.
As you install new software, and other packages, that include man pages the database will be updated and they’ll be made available. For instance, if you install Nginx on your server immediately after the process is done you can open the man page.