RubyGems plugin to view a gem's manpage.
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gem-man(1) -- view a gem's man page


gem man <GEM>
gem man <SECTION> <GEM>
gem man --system <GEM>
gem man --latest <GEM>
gem man --exact <GEM>
gem man --all


The gem man command can be used to display a man page for an installed RubyGem. The man page must be included with the gem - gem-man does no generation or magic.

For an introduction to man pages, see man(1) (or type man man in your shell).


gem install gem-man
gem man gem-man



gem man expects to be passed the name of an installed gem. If there are multiple man pages found for the gem, you will be asked which you'd like to view. If only a single man page is found it will be displayed.

Man pages are any files whose extension is a single digit [0-9], e.g. ronn.1.


Specifying a SECTION as the first argument narrows the search to man pages matching the provided section. For example, if the "mustache" gem includes man/mustache.1 and man/mustache.5 the command gem man 1 mustache will display man/mustache.1 without asking if you'd like to see man/mustache.5.


gem man's default mode of operation is to open a man page for a single gem or, if multiple man pages are found, ask which you'd like to open. If there are any ambiguities as to which gem to use, gem man will ask which you'd prefer.

You can specify gems or list available gems using a few options.

  • -s, --system: Fall back to searching for system manuals. That is, gem man -s mac will first look for a gem named mac with a man page before looking for any system man pages named mac. gem man -s fork should find the fork(2) manual, for instance.

  • -l, --latest: If there are multiple versions of a gem, open the latest.

  • -v, --version: Specify version of gem to man.

  • -e, --exact: Only list exact matches.

  • -a, --all: List all installed gems that have manuals.

See gem help man to view the options at any time.


gem install gem-man


gem man mustache
gem man 1 ronn
gem man -a


For information on authoring man pages, see ronn(7):

gem install ronn
gem man 7 ronn


If you want man to find RubyGems, it's this easy:

alias man="gem man -s"


man say
man rails
man 1 ronn
man 2 fork


Requires the man(1) script to be in your path, executable, and to accept a full path to a manual.

Requires Ruby and RubyGems 1.3.2 (or higher).

Please report other bugs at


  • adamsanderson for open_gem
  • rtomayko for ronn


gem-man is Copyright (C) 2010 Chris Wanstrath with parts from Adam Sanderson.


ronn(7), man(1), less(1), roff(7), groff(1),,