Online Manual Pages

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For concise summaries of features and options, nothing beats UNIX manual pages. This book doesn't cover every option and every feature (not even every command!) of MH. Some parts of the book -- like the Chapter on MH Formatting -- expect you to use the manual pages for reference.

Unfortunately, not all systems make manual pages available. To see whether your system has online manual pages for MH, try using the man(1) command to read the mh(1) manual page:

% man mh
If that doesn't work, try to find the manual page for the man command itself: type man man. Look for instructions on how to make man search directories other than the standard /usr/man tree. For instance, on my system, man looks at the directories listed in the MANPATH environment variable. Because my MH manual pages are in /usr/local/mh/man instead of the standard places, I've added a new definition of MANPATH to my shell's startup file:

setenv MANPATH /usr/man:/usr/local/mh/man csh, tcsh: .login

MANPATH=/usr/man:/usr/local/mh/man sh, ksh, bash: .profile
export MANPATH

If you make that change, re-read the startup file into your shell (type source .login or . .profile) and try the man command again.

Still can't find the manual pages? Ask your system administrator to install them from the MH source tree. If that isn't possible, you can get MH 6.8.3 documentation from the host in the directory /pub/mh/doc. (If you can't use the link above, see the Appendix Obtaining Example Files From This Book for directions.) The files MH.doc.Z and are compressed text and PostScript, respectively. The MH.doc file has lines that are more than 80 characters wide; it doesn't display well on most terminals until you remove most of the leading blanks from the lines. So, if you choose the MH.doc.Z version, try commands like the ones below to uncompress it into an MH.doc file:

% zcat MH.doc.Z | colrm 1 12 > MH.doc
% uncompress < MH.doc.Z | cut -c13- > MH.doc
You can split the MH.doc file into separate manual page files. Or you can use a pager program like more(1) to search MH.doc for the manual page you want. For example, a more command like /FOLDER(1) will find the page for the folder(1) command.

Finally, if you have a version of MH before 6.8.3, there are old editions of MH on in the directory /pub/mh/tar. Extract the tar file and look in the doc subdirectory; the files there will be rough -- but still much better than nothing.

Now you're ready to take one (or more!) of the tours:

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Last change $Date: 1996/06/06 15:12:00 $

This file is from the third edition of the book MH & xmh: Email for Users & Programmers, ISBN 1-56592-093-7, by Jerry Peek. Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. This file is freely-available; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. For more information, see the file copying.htm.

Suggestions are welcome: Jerry Peek <>