Have you ever encountered this error message on AIX before?

# man -k loopmount
man: 0703-310 file man not found.
Create the whatis database using the <catman -w> command

Of course you have! If youve ever installed AIX from scratch then you have undoubtedly seen this message.

And of course, you dutifully executed the catman w command to rectify the situation. Didnt you?

But what if catman w doesnt work as expected?

I recently came across this minor issue. Running catman produced the following error message:

# catman -w

catman: 0703-102 /usr/lbin/mkwhatis: The error number is 1.

The first place to check was the MANPATH environment variable (which didnt look right).

# echo $MANPATH


So I unset it and ran catman again. This time, with great success.

# unset MANPATH

# catman -w

Now I could search for keywords against the /usr/share/man/whatis database that contain the string loopmount.

# man -k loopmount

loopmount(1) - Associate an image file to a loopback device.

Another interesting issue Ive also come across is when catman runs with apparent success but I still cant find keyword entries when I run man k.

# catman -w

# man -k loopmount

loopmount: Cannot find matching entry.

I found that manually setting MANPATH and re-running catman rectifies this situation.

# export MANPATH=/usr/share/man

# catman -w

# man -k lsvg

loopmount(1) - Associate an image file to a loopback device.

Of course the whatis command can also perform a similar function. Only difference is that you need to know the command beforehand.

# whatis loopmount

loopmount(1) - Associate an image file to a loopback device.

The catman command:


The whatis command:


Locating a command by keyword:


The /usr/share directory: