Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 55018
man behaves badly
Last modified: 2007-04-18 12:37:44 EDT
Description of Problem:
when running the "man /etc/shadow" command, the man executable attempts to
read the actual /etc/shadow file and display it to the screen; when run as
root, the file is displayed, otherwise, the message "/etc/shadow:
Permission denied" appears immediately prior to "No manual entry for
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
man-1.5i2-0.7x and man-1.5i2-6
Steps to Reproduce:
1. man /etc/shadow
Why do you think this is a problem?
I think it's a feature (man /usr/src/foo/doc/foo.1 can be quite useful at
Someone with root access is probably not stupid enough to type "man
/etc/shadow" while someone is watching his screen (and even then, nobody will
be able to remember the MD5 hashes).
This is (IMHO) a problem from the standpoint that I want to get information on
the /etc/shadow file, I don't want it to try to use the /etc/shadow file as the
actual man page.
I agree that "man /usr/src/foo/file.1" can be useful; it seems (to me at least)
too confusing, though - perhaps a switch telling man to "use the argument as the
man file name, not the man query term" would work just as well (i.e. "man -f
"man 5 shadow" is what you want.
Or "whatis shadow".
I think by using a "/", you clearly indicate you want a file, so an extra
switch is not necessary.