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After installing freebsd documentation by using pkg install en-freebsd-doc, is there a command similar to 'man' that allows you to read the document offline? Or you have to go to the location it gets installed under and use browsers like elinks to traverse through? What is the standard way?

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  • It may very well be through a browser, otherwise I'd go for "info". – Gerard H. Pille Nov 7 '20 at 5:42
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    This is another example of why comment-answers should be taken with a large pinch of salt. The questioner isn't talking about a -doc package on Linux containing manual pages. This is FreeBSD, and a package containing (per its own description) "the whole documentation set from the FreeBSD Documentation Project" including the Handbook et al.. – JdeBP Nov 7 '20 at 11:59
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The misc/freebsd-doc-en port makes the doco in four different formats:

  • PDF files that can be read with the PDF reader of your choice.
  • Text files that can be read with the text file reader of your choice.
  • Split HTML files that can be viewed with the HTML file viewer of your choice.
  • All-in-one HTML files that can be viewed with the HTML file viewer of your choice.

By default, unless you reconfigure it, the port builds only the PDF files and Split HTML, which is what you'll get by installing the en-freebsd-doc package that is built from the port.

These are just ordinary documents that you can read in the same way that you would read any other documents of these types. It's entirely up to you how you choose to read a text file, for example.

The FreeBSD Handbook itself outright tells you, in §1.3.4, this with respect to the Split HTML form doco:

You may view the locally installed manuals with any HTML capable browser using the following URLs:

The FreeBSD Handbook
file://localhost/usr/share/doc/handbook/index.html

That's of course /usr/local/share/doc/en/ (or even sometimes /usr/local/share/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/ or some such) rather than /usr/local/share/doc/ for the language-specific files.

The FreeBSD Handbook also tells you, in §6.2 and §6.4, several of the tools that are available for reading PDF files and viewing HTML.

The PDF, text file, and All-in-one HTML forms have the entire documents in one file in the various subdirectories, book.txt/book.pdf/book.html or article.txt/article.pdf/article.html depending from whether the document is a "book" or an "article".

Further reading

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  • Appreciate the detailed answer! – Regmi Nov 8 '20 at 6:21

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