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Using update-alternatives(8) on a Debian system it is possible to add man pages as slaves under some master alternative.

For example, the following command installs an alternative man page tclsh.1 alongside the alternative executable for tclsh.

$ update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/tclsh tclsh /usr/bin/tclsh8.6.0 100 \
    --slave /usr/share/man/man1/tclsh.1 tclsh.1 /usr/share/man/man1/tclsh8.6.0.1

But what if I have not one but entire directories full of man pages that I want to install as alternatives? How can I add those without adding hundreds of slaves?

I'm on Ubuntu 12.04 and trying to install my own Tcl 8.6 (no ActiveState). It has over 800 man pages under /opt/tcl8.6.0/man/man[13n].

  • Something tells me to update /etc/manpath.config but I'm not sure if there is an API though docs imply that packages may update it. Though it won't be under alternatives control :/ – mlt Sep 20 '13 at 17:18

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