DH_INSTALLMAN(1) Debhelper DH_INSTALLMAN(1)
dh_installman - install man pages into package build directories
dh_installman [debhelperoptions] [manpage...]
dh_installman is a debhelper program that handles installing man pages
into the correct locations in package build directories.
In compat 10 and earlier, this program was primarily for when
upstream's build system does not properly install them as a part of its
install step (or it does not have an install step). In compat 11 and
later, it supports the same features of dh_install(1) and has the
advantage that it respects the nodoc build profile (unlike
Even if you prefer to use dh_install(1) for installing the manpages,
dh_installman can still be useful for converting the manpage encoding
to UTF-8 and for converting .so links (as described below). However,
that part happens automatically without any explicit configuration.
You tell dh_installman what man pages go in your packages, and it
figures out where to install them based on the section field in their
.TH or .Dt line. If you have a properly formatted .TH or .Dt line, your
man page will be installed into the right directory, with the right
name (this includes proper handling of pages with a subsection, like
3perl, which are placed in man3, and given an extension of .3perl). If
your .TH or .Dt line is incorrect or missing, the program may guess
wrong based on the file extension.
It also supports translated man pages, by looking for extensions like
.ll.8 and .ll_LL.8, or by use of the --language switch.
If dh_installman seems to install a man page into the wrong section or
with the wrong extension, this is because the man page has the wrong
section listed in its .TH or .Dt line. Edit the man page and correct
the section, and dh_installman will follow suit. See man(7) for details
about the .TH section, and mdoc(7) for the .Dt section. If
dh_installman seems to install a man page into a directory like
/usr/share/man/pl/man1/, that is because your program has a name like
foo.pl, and dh_installman assumes that means it is translated into
Polish. Use --language=C to avoid this.
After the man page installation step, dh_installman will check to see
if any of the man pages in the temporary directories of any of the
packages it is acting on contain .so links. If so, it changes them to
Also, dh_installman will use man to guess the character encoding of
each manual page and convert it to UTF-8. If the guesswork fails for
some reason, you can override it using an encoding declaration. See
manconv(1) for details.
From debhelper compatibility level 11 on, dh_install will fall back to
looking in debian/tmp for files, if it does not find them in the
current directory (or wherever you've told it to look using
Lists man pages to be installed.
Install all files specified by command line parameters in ALL
packages acted on.
Use this to specify that the man pages being acted on are written
in the specified language.
Look in the specified directory for files to be installed. This
option requires compat 11 or later (it is silently ignored in
compat 10 or earlier).
Note that this is not the same as the --sourcedirectory option used
by the dh_auto_* commands. You rarely need to use this option,
since dh_installman automatically looks for files in debian/tmp in
debhelper compatibility level 11 and above.
Install these man pages into the first package acted on. (Or in all
packages if -A is specified).
An example debian/manpages file could look like this:
# NB: The following line is considered a polish translation
# of "foo.1" (and not a manpage written in perl called "foo.pl")
An older version of this program, dh_installmanpages(1), is still used
by some packages, and so is still included in debhelper. It is,
however, deprecated, due to its counterintuitive and inconsistent
interface. Use this program instead.
This program is a part of debhelper.
Joey Hess <email@example.com>
11.3.5 2018-06-30 DH_INSTALLMAN(1)