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

Vít Ondruch vondruch at
Thu Oct 16 10:56:32 UTC 2014

Dne 16.10.2014 v 10:35 Jan Chaloupka napsal(a):
> Forwarding Colin's response
> =================================
> On Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 09:47:41AM -0500, Chris Adams wrote:
>> 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.".
> Have you considered installing the timer file, but without the
> dependency?  If systemd is there, it could use it, otherwise not.  That
> would make a whole lot more sense to me than creating another package,
> and would be my recommendation.

Actually that is good idea IMO. The %post script could silently fail if
no systemd is no the system.

>> On the majority of systems these days, is it really an issue to cache
>> man pages anymore?
> That's not what the timer unit in question is for!  It updates the
> database of which manual pages are present and their descriptions, not
> rendered pages.  You need it for apropos and whatis to work.
> (I would also recommend arranging to update the database any time
> packages that ship manual pages are installed or removed, but I don't
> know whether this is a straightforward thing to do with your package
> management infrastructure.  In Debian we do this with dpkg triggers.)

%triggerin and %triggerun probably can't achieve this, but RPM plugin
could do that.

>> Maybe the time has come to just stop caching man pages at all, or at
>> least make that functionality optional (and non-default)?
> It's been optional for many years, is I believe generally off in Fedora
> given that you don't install mandb set-id, and is unrelated to this
> issue.
> Cheers,

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