Man Pages Made Easy

Ever since upgrading to Lion I’ve been making a few slight changes in workflow. One such change, which I’m still on the fence about, is to switch from reading man pages in a tiled Terminal screen, to reading them in a browser window.

It seems like a small thing, but I spend a lot of time switching between terminal screens or using screen to switch between sessions. Bwana allows you to read a man page from within a browser.

Simply load download the Bwana app into your /Applications directory and wait a few seconds. Then open a browser window and look for a man page. For example:

man:dsconfigad

Now, you may notice that you can’t actually click on the link above and have the link open as it would if you typed the information into the browser manually. You could also use man://dsconfigad to access a man page, but you still cannot refer to those from other sites. You can open those urls using terminal:

open man://dsconfigad

To see an index of all pages, enter the following in Safari:

man:index

To reindex:

man:index_refresh

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonas-Jreskog/1231604542 Jonas J├Âreskog

    Actually, I can click those links but they always open in the same tab no matter what I do. Safari doesn’t recognize them properly but they do open.

    • http://www.krypted.com Charles

      I expanded on what I meant in that sentence. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Michael Stango

    For people still sticking with Snow Leopard or lower, this command will open a nicely-formatted man page for [command] in Preview:

    man -t [command] | open -f -a /Applications/Preview.app

    A lot nicer than scrolling back and forth in another Terminal window or tab.