Tech Tip: Color man Pages


To add a bit of color to your man pages install the most pager. For most DEB based distros:

  $ sudo apt-get install most

For most RPM based distros:

  $ yum install most

Failing these, get the source here.

Now set the pager used by man and try running man:

  $ export MANPAGER="/usr/bin/most -s
  # or export MANPAGER="/usr/local/bin/most -s"
  $ man bash

Add the setting of MANPAGER to your shell ~/.profile to make the setting available when you login.

Color man Pages
color-manpages.jpg141.53 KB


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An Alternative for Ubuntu

cantormath's picture

In terminal

Install most
:~$sudo apt-get install most

Let most format your man pages.
:~$ sudo update-alternatives --config pager

In the menu, select number corresponding to most(on mine its 5) and hit enter. Enjoy.

Less color for man pages

Gregg's picture

Less is much more powerful than most.
See how to get colored man pages with less here:


Anonymous's picture

add the following to .Xdefaults

*VT100*colorULMode: on
*VT100*colorUL: MAGENTA
*VT100*underLine: off
*VT100*colorBDMode: on
*VT100*colorBD: GREEN

Then merge
xrdb -merge .Xdefaults