Man pages and categories 1 & 8

Russ Allbery rra at
Tue Jan 25 01:24:39 UTC 2011

Julien ÉLIE <julien at> writes:

> What is the difference between the categories 1 and 8 for man pages?
> I see that we have references in our documentation for both rnews(1) and
> rnews(8), sm(1) and sm(8), innfeed(1) and innfeed(8), and so on.

> What is the best practice to follow?

If you install it in sbin, you put the manual in section 8, generally.  Of
course, what we install in bin vs. sbin doesn't always make a tremendous
amount of sense currently.  But things like innd really should go into
sbin.  (Yes, they can be run as non-root in unusual circumstances, but
those are unusual enough circumstances that users who know what they're
doing can add sbin to their path and look in section 8.)

The rule of thumb I was using was that general utilities go into bin and
things that can only be run by the news admin (like ctlinnd) go into sbin,
but I'm not sure that is the most sensible way of doing it.  It does seem
to match what most other packages do, though.

Russ Allbery (rra at             <>

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