I stumbled an outdated man page on my system (ubuntu 14.04), and I want to reinstall all man pages. I tried to use sudo mandb, and also sudo apt-get install man-db and sudo apt-get install manpages-dev, none of them worked.

What are other options?

  • 2
    Manpages are distributed with the each individual package. eg the manpage for unzip is in the unzip package. For this reason the manpage on your system will always match the version of the program you have installed.
    – jordanm
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 15:25
  • If you know which package the manpage belongs to, you can reinstall that package with apt-get (if not, dlocate is useful for determining which). Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 15:28
  • 2
    As @jordanm says, the man page comes with the binary, so it shouldn't be outdated. Why do think you have an outdated manpage? Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 15:40
  • I infer it is outdated since the version I have of the man-page in question (man sigreturn, can be found here: linux.die.net/man/2/sigreturn) is far less elaborated than this one: man7.org/linux/man-pages/man2/sigreturn.2.html Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 15:49
  • I also see that I don't have the man vdso man page...I'm sure I'm going to find some more if I keep doing it. Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 15:55

3 Answers 3


The man pages on your system correspond to the software that's installed on your system. It would be bad if you had documentation that didn't describe the software you're running!

Ubuntu 14.04, by definition, includes software versions released at least a few months before April 2014.

Reinstalling man pages won't give you more recent versions. Reinstalling just gives you what you already had.

If you want your system to have recent documentation, you need to upgrade your distribution. You'll get more recent software and the assorted documentation.

If you want to read documentation for software that you don't have installed, then just read it on a website.

If you want to have easy access to software and documentation that's newer or older than your distribution, you can install another distribution on your machine (e.g. another release of Ubuntu), either in a virtual machine or in a chroot. See How do I run 32-bit programs on a 64-bit Debian/Ubuntu?


Man-pages evolve also, and while each release of each distribution can be expected to have newer man-pages, nothing says that they will have the latest ones.

You have Ubuntu 14.04, which means "released April 2014". The manpage at man7.org is dated 2015-12-28 (part of release 4.07 of the Linux man-pages project), so it is not surprising you don't have it since your Ubuntu was released 18 months earlier. You do get updates, but those are mostly for bugs, not for improved documentation.

I am using Ubuntu 15.10, and I have a manpage dated 2013-07-30 (release 3.74 of the Linux man-pages project). That is earlier than the release of your Ubuntu 14.04, so one might think it should have been in your release, but I think you'll either have to trust the release engineers to provide you with consistent information, or use a distribution that tries to be as cutting-edge up-to-date as possible (I would investigate Debian sid, gentoo, arch).

Ubuntu 16.04 is out, so that would probably be a good idea!


manpages http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?suite=trusty&searchon=names&keywords=manpages

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install --reinstall manpages manpages-dev ... provides 222 + 1,931 man pages : http://packages.ubuntu.com/trusty/all/manpages/filelist .... http://packages.ubuntu.com/trusty/all/manpages-dev/filelist

  • Your question was originally entitled "reinstall man pages", and Knud's answer would help with that. That would be useful if you didn't have them or if you'd lost them somehow. It doesn't seem that that is your problem though, see my answer. I've taken the liberty of editing your title to match.
    – Law29
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 17:09
  • @Law29, I accepted your title edit. I guess Knud's answer should have helped, but I still have missing/old man pages Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 17:46
  • Missing man pages is a totally different problem from man pages that are not as new as man pages you find on the Internet. Please reread my answer for "old" man pages, and edit your question or comment to indicate which man pages are missing. I see you mentioned "vdso", I have that in my version 3.74 of Linux man-pages.
    – Law29
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 18:00

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