is a service providing online manpages in HTML format for the public.

Current status

Debian manpages archive

Current implementation

The current service is a simple Perl CGI script running on This script searches within an archive that is generated through another set of scripts. The source code is available in

In the past (when running in this service was disabled by Teams/DSA several times because of performance issues. Even though the service has been modified to improve caching (on memory and on disk) it still was getting hit hard by robots that request Apache manpages. This excessive traffic is generated as many default Apache installations in Debian include links to these manpages (see

The last time it was disabled was in August 2016, and remain in that state until it was re-activated in December 2016.

New implementation

The current codebase is being rewritten from scratch by TheAnarcat into a package called Debmans. See the design document for a discussion on the implementation.

At this point, the debmans code can extract all files from a mirror efficiently and convert them to HTML. It has not been tested on a full mirror yet, because TheAnarcat is waiting for manpages group access and dependencies install (setuptools from backports and/or python-click, python-apt and python-debian) in manzarly. See the TODO file for more information about the current status of the project and limitations.

For Debian maintainers not wishing to operate on the Gitlab platform, there is also a collab-maint repository that is synchronised with Gitlab every hour.


The service is running in It used to run on


Discussions about can take place on the regular Teams/DDP channels, for example the #debian-doc IRC channel and mailing list.

You can also subscribe to this wiki page to get updates, which also functions as an ad-hoc forum.