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A man page for fork, for example, is in the System Calls section that has number 2:

man 2 fork

How do you see what else is section 2 without resorting to Google?

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Without google, but via web, go to man7.org/linux/man-pages/dir_section_2.html (or main page here: kernel.org/doc/man-pages ) – belacqua May 13 '14 at 23:41
up vote 17 down vote accepted

Manpages are usually placed in /usr/share/man, but check $MANPATH, and are organized into sections like so:

 Section 1:

 Section 2:


So to list all installed section 2 manpages, do:

ls /usr/share/man/man2/

Or the more complete one:

find $(echo $MANPATH | tr ':' ' ') -path '*/man2/*'

The latter one will have problems if you have directories in $MANPATH with space in their names.

On most distributions you can also check available man pages with a package tool, e.g. on Debian derived distributions you can use apt-file like so:

apt-file search /man2/
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Thanks - This was the start I needed. I made a shell function that is run e.g. lman 2 and lists the unadorned name for each page on a new line and pages them. The function's body is: find $(man --path | tr ':' ' ') -path "*/man$1/*"| xargs basename | sort | sed -E "s/\.$1(.gz)?\$//" | less – xyz Jul 30 '12 at 21:41

To list all installed man pages from a specific section you can use apropos:

apropos -s 2 .  # use an regex for apropos . means anything
apropos -s 2 -w '*'  # use unix globbing for apropos
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"apropos: -s: unknown option" – Michael Mrozek Jul 30 '12 at 20:36
@MichaelMrozek what system are you using? It works for me, e.g: output of apropos -s 2 -w '*' – Ulrich Dangel Jul 30 '12 at 20:42
Thanks. The -s option is not present in Mac OS X apropos, which is presumably from BSD. – xyz Jul 30 '12 at 21:09
@f100 Ah ok, maybe try man -a -s 2 '*' – Ulrich Dangel Jul 30 '12 at 21:16
That seems more like it, but instead of listing them, it's actually invoking the viewer for each one in turn. I've hacked up a function to do listing which I posted in another comment. It likely has issues but it's enough for me :) – xyz Jul 30 '12 at 21:50

On Mac OS X, the only thing I can get to work is man -k . | grep -F '(3)', which lists everything in section 3.

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