man-pages-2-38 and man-pages-2.39 are released

From: Michael Kerrisk
Date: Thu Aug 10 2006 - 01:11:48 EST


I recently released man-pages-2.38 and man-pages-2.39, which can be found
at the location in the .sig.

There was one new page in these releases, describing various Unix standards:

Based on material taken from intro.2, but expanded to
include discussion of many additional standards.

There was a significant reworking of the CONFORMING TO sections
in most manual pages.

* generally try to rationalise the names used for standards.
The preferred names are now documented as the head words
of the list in standards(7). For the future: there is
probably no need to talk about anything more than
C89, C99, POSIX.1-2001 (or later), xBSD, and SVr4.
(In particular, I've eliminated most references to XPG
and SVID, replacing them with references to SUS or SVr4.)

* eliminate discussion of errors that can occur on other
systems. This information exists only patchily in the
manual pages, is probably of limited use, is hard to maintain,
and was in some cases simply wrong (and probably always was).

* Tried to ensure that those interfaces specified in C99 or
POSIX.1-2001 are marked as such in their manual pages.


The man-pages set contains sections 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 of
the manual pages. These sections describe the following:

2: (Linux) system calls
3: (libc) library functions
4: Devices
5: File formats and protocols
7: Overview pages, conventions, etc.

As far as this list is concerned the most relevant parts are:
all of sections 2 and 4, which describe kernel-userland interfaces;
in section 5, the proc(5) manual page, which attempts (it's always
catching up) to be a comprehensive description of /proc; and
various pages in section 7, some of which are overview pages of
kernel features (e.g., networking protocols).

If you make a change to a kernel-userland interface, or observe
a discrepancy between the manual pages and reality, would you
please send me (at mtk-manpages@xxxxxxx ) one of the following
(in decreasing order of preference):

1. An in-line "diff -u" patch with text changes for the
corresponding manual page. (The most up-to-date version
of the manual pages can always be found at or .)

2. Some raw text describing the changes, which I can then
integrate into the appropriate manual page.

3. A message alerting me that some part of the manual pages
does not correspond to reality. Eventually, I will try to
remedy the situation.

Obviously, as we get further down this list, more of my time
is required, and things may go slower, especially when the
changes concern some part of the kernel that I am ignorant
about and I can't find someone to assist.



Michael Kerrisk
maintainer of Linux man pages Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7

Want to help with man page maintenance? Grab the latest tarball at,
read the HOWTOHELP file and grep the source files for 'FIXME'.
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