man page formatting with groff-1.18.1 vs groff-1.17.2

Richard Lightman richard at
Tue Oct 29 01:25:23 PST 2002

* Steve Jones <sljones3 at> [2002-10-29 08:23]:
> I have encountered a frustrating problem with the formatting of man
> pages on my lfs-cvs system.  First of all since I've got a big monitor I
> use 132 columns, If I use groff-1.18.1 the manpages do not format for my
> screen width, they keep comming up at 80 cols.  I have tried all the
> obvious fixes like the groff compatability switch in man.conf.  If I
> downgrade to 1.17.2 then the man pages format corectly at 132 cols. 
> This really bothers me and I can find no information out there.
> What little I have found on the groff mailing list is that some groff
> default action has dissapeared and the man package needs to be changed
> to reassert this action.  Since I know nothing about using groff macros
> I was wondering if anyone else has a clue of how to fix this.
I had not noticed the problem because I look at man pages with lynx:


page="$(man -w $@)"
if [ -z "${page##No manual entry for*}" ]; then
  echo "$page"
  if [ -z "${page##*.gz}" ]; then
    lynx -force_html <(gzip -cd "${page}" | man2html -L /usr/share/doc -M /cgi-bin/man-page -)
    lynx -force_html <(man2html -L /usr/share/doc -M /cgi-bin/man-page $page)

If you want the links to other man pages to work, you need a cgi
script. I did not want to run apache just to look at man pages, so
I have man2html output lynxcgi as the transfer protocol, and a
python script to call man2html. Sorry it is a bit shabby - it was
one of my first python programs.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: man-page.bz2
Type: application/octet-stream
Size: 1143 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the lfs-dev mailing list