man-db without cache update (no cron or systemd *.timer)

Chris Adams linux at
Wed Oct 15 14:47:41 UTC 2014

Once upon a time, Jan Chaloupka <jchaloup at> said:
> there has been a discussion about if we need cache for man-db for users
> which use man pages or update system only from time to time and thus
> don't need to update cache every day. man-db as it is now depends on
> systemd which brings another set of packages. The use case is "I just
> want to read man page. So I install man which on the other hand download
> another set of packages. I want to read man page and it downloads systemd.".

On the majority of systems these days, is it really an issue to cache
man pages anymore?  I mean, back when a long man page (thinking about
some of the perl documentation for example) could take a while to
render, it mattered.  Now however, systems are much much faster, and we
expect GUI web browsers to render vastly more complicated content in a
fraction of a second.

Maybe the time has come to just stop caching man pages at all, or at
least make that functionality optional (and non-default)?

Chris Adams <linux at>

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