On my computer (ubuntu 12.04), some info pages are missing, like for tar.
When I enter info tar, it opens the tar manpage instead of the tar info manual.

So how can I install these pages on my system?


On Debian and its derivatives like Ubuntu, the info pages are not installed unless you install the corresponding package-doc package for a given package.

So in your case:

apt-get install tar-doc

A notable exception (though that may only apply to Debian and not Ubuntu) is bash-doc. The textinfo bash documentation is not considered as free software by Debian as you're not free to modify it (you have to notify the bash maintainers if you want to distribute a modified version of it which is against the Debian policy).

There's a similar case for texinfo-doc though in that case there is a texinfo-doc-nonfree package.

  • What can I do if I need bash-doc? How can I install the bash info manual? – Bill Aug 22 '13 at 11:03
  • 1
    @Bill, you can get it from gnu.org/software/bash/manual – Stéphane Chazelas Aug 22 '13 at 11:13
  • Actually, bash-doc is free (but does not contain the bash info manual in wheezy), while tar-doc in wheezy does contain the info manual and is non-free. Per bugs.debian.org/427804, the info manual is back in the bash-doc package, at least ./usr/share/info/bash.info.gz, which appears to be the "Bash Reference Manual". – Faheem Mitha Aug 11 '14 at 8:59
  • Not installing the manuals is just a really sad default. – qu1j0t3 Mar 2 '20 at 1:29

On my Ubuntu 12.04 system when I run the command info tar I actually get the man page for tar. You can see what file info is using with the -w switch.

$ info -w tar

$ info -w ls

If you search the repos you'll find this:

$ apt-cache search info|grep tar
pax - Portable Archive Interchange (cpio, pax, tar)
tar-doc - documentation for the tar package

Install the tar-doc package for the info.

There might be an easier way to do this (not that up on apt..) but you can find all the missing info doc files with this command:

$ apt-cache search info | grep -- '-doc '
  • Yes, it does open the manpages. That is what I said in the question. – Kartik Aug 3 '13 at 14:52
  • @Kartik - I know I was showing you why. – slm Aug 3 '13 at 14:53

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