I installed the GNU core utilities via brew install coreutils. I also added PATH=$(brew --prefix coreutils)/libexec/gnubin:$PATH to the beginning of ~/.bash_profile (and it's auto-sourced in ~/.bashrc) as to enable accessing these utilities with their default names, ant not prepended with g.

I also want access to the man pages of these utilities, so I added MANPATH="/usr/local/opt/coreutils/libexec/gnuman:${MANPATH-/usr/share/man}" to ~/.bash_profile as the second line. Unfortunately, when I type man ls for example, I still get the BSD man page, instead of the Gnu one. How do I fix this?

  • .bash_profile should source .bashrc i.e. the opposite way to the way you have said gnu.org/software/bash/manual/html_node/Bash-Startup-Files.html but that is probably not the issue
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 10, 2016 at 9:47
  • what does echo $MANPATH show?
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 10, 2016 at 9:48
  • @Mark /usr/local/opt/coreutils/libexec/gnuman:/usr/share/man
    – asafc
    Aug 10, 2016 at 9:57
  • What happens if you- man gcat?
    – fd0
    Aug 10, 2016 at 10:14
  • The I get the man page for GNU cat.
    – asafc
    Aug 10, 2016 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


OK, so after researching about $MANPATH with regards to Linux\UNIX, I came across the idea of adding export MANPATH right after defining it in ~/.bash_profile. This solves the problem as required, i.e. giving me access to man pages for coreutils, and only then to their BSD versions, if no GNU version exists.

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