6.3.7.2 Man Page Generation

Because of user demand, in addition to full Texinfo manuals, man pages are provided which contain extracts from those manuals. These man pages are generated from the Texinfo manuals using contrib/texi2pod.pl and pod2man. (The man page for g++, cp/g++.1, just contains a .so reference to gcc.1, but all the other man pages are generated from Texinfo manuals.)

Because many systems may not have the necessary tools installed to generate the man pages, they are only generated if the configure script detects that recent enough tools are installed, and the Makefiles allow generating man pages to fail without aborting the build. Man pages are also included in release distributions. They are generated in the source directory.

Magic comments in Texinfo files starting @c man control what parts of a Texinfo file go into a man page. Only a subset of Texinfo is supported by texi2pod.pl, and it may be necessary to add support for more Texinfo features to this script when generating new man pages. To improve the man page output, some special Texinfo macros are provided in doc/include/gcc-common.texi which texi2pod.pl understands:

@gcctabopt
Use in the form @table @gcctabopt for tables of options, where for printed output the effect of @code is better than that of @option but for man page output a different effect is wanted.
@gccoptlist
Use for summary lists of options in manuals.
@gol
Use at the end of each line inside @gccoptlist. This is necessary to avoid problems with differences in how the @gccoptlist macro is handled by different Texinfo formatters.

FIXME: describe the texi2pod.pl input language and magic comments in more detail.