Having upgraded from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion a few days ago, I find that most of the 'man' entries from section 3 (programming functions) are missing. For example:

phillip-millss-macbook-pro:etc phil$ man fopen
No manual entry for fopen

Exploring with the terminal shows me that all that remains in man3 directories within the 'man' search path are things related to Perl.

Is there something extra that I should be installing to get the reference information back?

  • 2
    Have you installed Xcode or the command line tools package from its preferences or developer.apple.com/downloads?
    – Lri
    Aug 3, 2012 at 22:47
  • I have the new Xcode installed and working fine. (I suppose it's possible that's what caused the 'man' problem.) Even though the auxiliary tools description doesn't mention documentation, I'll try installing that from the link you provided. Thanks. Aug 4, 2012 at 0:32

1 Answer 1


You can set an environmental variable called MANPATH that will tell the "man" command where to look for the man pages. I see my mac 10.12.6 (Sierra) does not have that variable set. According to "man man" output, it uses /etc/man.conf to know where the directories are. You can add missing paths into that file. That file may be overwritten by an mac os x update, so you may have to do it again. To find your missing man3 files, which are probably still on your disk, try "locate \*man3" and it should list every directory with a man3 folder in it. Boyd

  • Given the OPs last comment the issue is he has not got the manual pages installed
    – mmmmmm
    Sep 6, 2017 at 22:31

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