Many packages have their documentation in html. Is there some sort of man or info utility to find locally installed html documentation and work with it?

I mean, I need a program which would conveniently search for files of html documentation. And then open it, and browse through it, and maybe some search engine, and cookies please. It would be the best if there were some root html file with links to all of the installed html documentation.

Otherwise, I need to use find to find the file and then I open it in firefox. I also could look up where documentation files are in synaptic.. But all of this is not convenient in many ways.

Of course, one could write a couple scripts to search through the documentation etc. But I thought since the html documentation exists for many packages (and it won't go anywhere in near future) there could be a tool to work with it already.

(the situation with html docs is like if you had only files with man pages and no man utility)

I do not mean to open html in a terminal.

  • xdg-open /path/to/file.html`.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 29, 2013 at 12:25
  • It's better to get answer if you explain more your question. Commented Sep 29, 2013 at 12:53

3 Answers 3


Since you mention Synaptic: Debian puts all documentation under /usr/share/doc/PACKAGE, except for man pages and info manuals. Furthermore Debian provides two packages to browse and search documentation in an amalgamated way through a web browser: dhelp (which doesn't need a local web server, but only shows HTML documentation) and dwww (which requires a local web server, but can also show man pages and info manuals).

Debian often splits packages into PACKAGE and PACKAGE-DOC, so documentation for PACKAGE may end up in /usr/share/doc/PACKAGE-DOC.

This applies to Debian derivatives as well, including Ubuntu and Mint.

  • thanks a lot! ...also one has looked into doc-base package and found some information more: doc-base registers documentation on the machine and there are clients to access it (in addition to dhelp and dwww there are doc-central, yelp for Gnome, khelpcenter4 for KDE). Somehow doc-central doesn't work for me. dwww does it all.
    – xealits
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 13:07

I don't see the point of doing so in terminal.

But elinks should work for simple HTML pages.

  • if you need text-mode www, use lynx. Commented Sep 29, 2013 at 12:55

There are 4 venerable HTML viewers for looking at HTML documentation in a terminal.

I use these all at various times since they each have unique features that the others don't. Cookie support, CSS, etc. They all can handle standard HTML just fine, whether local or via the web.

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