|File: [cvsweb.bsd.lv] / mandoc / INSTALL (download)
Revision 1.6, Sun Nov 30 22:47:16 2014 UTC (7 years ago) by schwarze
Changes since 1.5: +2 -2 lines
typo; Svyatoslav Mishyn <juef at openmailbox dot org> (Crux Linux)
$Id: INSTALL,v 1.6 2014/11/30 22:47:16 schwarze Exp $
About mdocml, the portable mandoc distribution
The mandoc manpage compiler toolset is a suite of tools compiling
mdoc(7), the roff(7) macro language of choice for BSD manual pages,
and man(7), the predominant historical language for UNIX manuals.
The toolset does not yet implement man(1); that is only scheduled
for the next release, 1.13.2. It can, however, already serve to
translate source manpages to the output displayed by man(1).
For general information, see <http://mdocml.bsd.lv/>.
In this document, we describe the installation and deployment of
mandoc(1), first as a simple, standalone formatter, and then as part of
the man(1) system.
In case you have questions or want to provide feedback, read
<http://mdocml.bsd.lv/contact.html>. Consider subscribing to the
discuss@ mailing list mentioned on that page. If you intend to
help with the development of mandoc, consider subscribing to the
tech@ mailing list, too.
Enjoy using the mandoc toolset!
Ingo Schwarze, Karlsruhe, August 2014
Before manually installing mandoc on your system, please check
whether the newest version of mandoc is already installed by default
or available via a binary package or a ports system. A list of the
latest bundled and ported versions of mandoc for various operating
systems is maintained at <http://mdocml.bsd.lv/ports.html>.
If mandoc is installed, you can check the version by running "mandoc -V".
You can find the version contained in this distribution tarball
by running "./configure".
Regarding how packages and ports are maintained for your operating
system, please consult your operating system documentation.
To install mandoc manually, the following steps are needed:
1. If you want to build the CGI program, man.cgi(8), too, run the
command "echo BUILD_CGI=1 > configure.local". Then run "cp
cgi.h.examples cgi.h" and edit cgi.h as desired.
2. Run "./configure".
This script attempts autoconfiguration of mandoc for your system.
Read both its standard output and the file "Makefile.local" it
generates. If anything looks wrong or different from what you
wish, read the file "configure.local.example", create and edit
a file "configure.local", and re-run "./configure" until the
result seems right to you.
3. Run "make".
Any POSIX-compatible make, in particular both BSD make and GNU make,
should work. If the build fails, look at "configure.local.example"
and go back to step 2.
4. Run "make -n install" and check whether everything will be
installed to the intended places. Otherwise, put some *DIR variables
into "configure.local" and go back to step 2.
5. Run "sudo make install". If you intend to build a binary
package using some kind of fake root mechanism, you may need a
command like "make DESTDIR=... install". Read the *-install targets
in the "Makefile" to understand how DESTDIR is used.
6. To set up a man.cgi(8) server, read its manual page.
7. To use mandoc(1) as your man(1) formatter, read the "Deployment"
Understanding mandoc dependencies
The mandoc(1), preconv(1), and demandoc(1) utilities have no external
dependencies. However, makewhatis(8) and apropos(1) depend on the
1. The SQLite database system, see <http://sqlite.org/>.
The recommended version of SQLite is 126.96.36.199 or newer. The mandoc
toolset is known to work with version 3.7.5 or newer. Versions
older than 3.8.3 may not achieve full performance due to the
missing SQLITE_DETERMINISTIC optimization flag. Versions older
than 3.8.0 may not show full error information if opening a database
fails due to the missing sqlite3_errstr() API. Both are very minor
problems, apropos(1) is fully usable with SQLite 3.7.5. Versions
older than 3.7.5 may or may not work, they have not been tested.
1.2. The fts(3) directory traversion functions.
If your system does not have them, the bundled compatibility version
will be used, so you need not worry in that case. But be careful: the
glibc version of fts(3) is known to be broken on 32bit platforms,
If you run into that problem, set "HAVE_FTS=0" in configure.local.
1.3. Marc Espie's ohash(3) library.
If your system does not have it, the bundled compatibility version
will be used, so you probably need not worry about it.
Checking autoconfiguration quality
If you want to check whether automatic configuration works well
on your platform, consider the following:
The mandoc package intentionally does not use GNU autoconf because
we consider that toolset a blatant example of overengineering that
is obsolete nowadays, since all modern operating systems are now
reasonably close to POSIX and do not need arcane shell magic any
longer. If your system does need such magic, consider upgrading
to reasonably modern POSIX-compliant tools rather than asking for
As far as mandoc is using any features not mandated by ANSI X3.159-1989
("ANSI C") or IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 ("POSIX") that some modern systems
do not have, we intend to provide autoconfiguration tests and
compat_*.c implementations. Please report any that turn out to be
missing. Note that while we do strive to produce portable code,
we do not slavishly restrict ourselves to POSIX-only interfaces.
For improved security and readability, we do use well-designed,
modern interfaces like reallocarray(3) even if they are still rather
uncommon, of course bundling compat_*.c implementations as needed.
Where mandoc is using ANSI C or POSIX features that some systems
still lack and that compat_*.c implementations can be provided for
without too much hassle, we will consider adding them, too, so
please report whatever is missing on your platform.
The following steps can be used to manually check the automatic
configuration on your platform:
1. Run "make distclean".
2. Run "./configure"
3. Read the file "config.log". It shows the compiler commands used
to test the libraries installed on your system and the standard
output and standard error output these commands produce. Watch out
for unexpected failures. Those are most likely to happen if headers
or libraries are installed in unusual places or interfaces defined
in unusual headers. You can also look at the file "config.h" and
check that no "#define HAVE_*" differ from your expectations.
If you want to integrate the mandoc(1) tools with your existing
man(1) system as a formatter, then contact us first: on systems without
mandoc(1) as the default, you may have your work cut out for you!
Usually, you can have your default installation and mandoc(1) work right
alongside each other by using user-specific versions of the files
0. Back up each file you want to change!
1. First see whether your system has "/etc/man.conf" or "/etc/manpath.conf"
(if it has neither, but man(1) is functional, then let us know) or,
if running as your own user, a per-user override file. In either
case, find where man(1) is executing nroff(1) or groff(1) to format
manuals. Replace these calls with mandoc(1).
2. Then make sure that man(1) isn't running preprocessors, so you may
need to replace tbl(1), eqn(1), and similar references with cat(1).
Some man(1) implementations, like that on Mac OSX, let you run "man -d"
to see how the formatter is invoked. Use this to test your changes. On
Mac OS X, for instance, man(1) will prepend all files with ".ll" and
".nr" to set the terminal size, so you need to pass "tail -n+2 |
mandoc(1)" to disregard them.
3. Finally, make sure that mandoc(1) is actually being invoked instead
of cached pages being pulled up. You can usually do this by commenting
out NOCACHE or similar.
mandoc(1) still has a long way to go in understanding non-trivial
low-level roff(7) markup embedded in some man(7) pages. On the BSD
systems using mandoc(1), third-party software is generally vetted
on whether it may be formatted with mandoc(1). If not, groff(1)
is pulled in as a dependency and used to install a pre-formatted
"catpage" instead of directly as manual page source.
For more background on switching operating systems to use mandoc(1)
instead of groff(1) to format manuals, see the two BSDCan presentations
by Ingo Schwarze: