Why do some man pages not have a date?

Usually, there is a date at the end of a manual, next to the name of the package. For example, in the last line of man 1 cat, the date is displayed as February 2017.

However, pulseaudio 10.0 does not provide a date of creation.

When was the man page published? Is there a way to find that out?

  • 1
    Arguably, Pulseaudio is a timeless creation... ;) Nov 2, 2017 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


There’s no general rule, even for manual pages with a date: the date might not be updated when changes are made to the page, or it might be updated automatically whenever the program is built, regardless of whether the man page was updated...

For pulseaudio.1, you need to look up the source code, then match the various versions with the one you have. The upstream logs show that the source file isn’t changed very often, and checking against the 10.0 release indicates that the version used there was updated on April 27, 2016.


It depend on the source file.

To see the deference, there is how to create a manpage with or without the date using this example

Copy the content to foo file

To generate a man foo-with-date including the date run:

groff -man -Tascii foo> foo-with-date
cat foo-with-date

To generate a manpage without date modify the following line

.TH FOO 1 "MARCH 1995" Linux "User Manuals"


.TH FOO 1  Linux "User Manuals"

then generate a new man page:

groff -man -Tascii foo> foo-without-date
cat foo-without-date

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