man seems to be using primitive 'more' rather than 'less'

Bug #1548477 reported by sudodus
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
less (Debian)
Fix Released
less (Ubuntu)
Fix Released
Colin Watson

Bug Description

When reading a manual page with man, I can only step lines forward with Enter or step pages with space. I suspect that 'more' is used instead of 'less', which makes it much harder to navigate in the manual documents. I think this bug has appeared recently (after alpha 2).

The last page of man man looks like this:

       apropos(1), groff(1), less(1), manpath(1), nroff(1), troff(1),
       whatis(1), zsoelim(1), setlocale(3), manpath(5), ascii(7), latin1(7),
       man(7), catman(8), mandb(8), the man-db package manual, FSSTND

       1990, 1991 – Originally written by John W. Eaton (<email address hidden>).

       Dec 23 1992: Rik Faith (<email address hidden>) applied bug fixes supplied by
       Willem Kasdorp (<email address hidden>).

       30th April 1994 – 23rd February 2000: Wilf. (<email address hidden>)
       has been developing and maintaining this package with the help of a few
       dedicated people.

       30th October 1996 – 30th March 2001: Fabrizio Polacco <fpo‐
       <email address hidden>> maintained and enhanced this package for the Debian
       project, with the help of all the community.

       31st March 2001 – present day: Colin Watson <email address hidden> is
       now developing and maintaining man-db.

2.7.5 2015-11-06 MAN(1)

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 16.04
Package: man-db 2.7.5-1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.4.0-6.21-generic 4.4.1
Uname: Linux 4.4.0-6-generic i686
ApportVersion: 2.19.3-0ubuntu2
Architecture: i386
CasperVersion: 1.366
CurrentDesktop: LXDE
Date: Mon Feb 22 20:10:20 2016
LiveMediaBuild: Lubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" - Alpha i386 (20160222)
SourcePackage: man-db
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
sudodus (nio-wiklund) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Ubuntu QA Website (ubuntuqa) wrote :

This bug has been reported on the Ubuntu ISO testing tracker.

A list of all reports related to this bug can be found here:

tags: added: iso-testing
Revision history for this message
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Nothing's changed here in man in many years. Do you actually have the "less" package installed? Also, please provide the output of "update-alternatives --display pager".

Changed in man-db (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
sudodus (nio-wiklund) wrote :

This is during testing the Lubuntu Xenial desktop iso file.

Yes less is installed, and can be used to display text files. But man falls back to more. If man-db is not changed, something else has changed during the last few days, because I have checked

man usb-creator-gtk

a few times recently to check if the version number has been updated, and this is the first time this bug occurs.
lubuntu@lubuntu:~$ update-alternatives --display pager
pager - auto mode
  link best version is /bin/more
  link currently points to /bin/more
  link pager is /usr/bin/pager
  slave pager.1.gz is /usr/share/man/man1/pager.1.gz
/bin/more - priority 50
  slave pager.1.gz: /usr/share/man/man1/more.1.gz
/usr/bin/pg - priority 10
  slave pager.1.gz: /usr/share/man/man1/pg.1.gz
lubuntu@lubuntu:~$ which less
See the attached screenshot for more details

Revision history for this message
sudodus (nio-wiklund) wrote :

1. The next Lubuntu Xenial desktop i386 iso file (the current version downloaded a few minutes ago) is still affected by this bug.

2. The current Ubuntu Xenial desktop amd64 iso file is also affected (at least running live).

3. The current Xubuntu Xenial desktop amd64 iso file is also affected (at least running live).

So the bug is not in the Lubuntu specific packages.

Revision history for this message
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :
affects: man-db (Ubuntu) → less (Ubuntu)
Changed in less (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Colin Watson (cjwatson)
Changed in less (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
status: Triaged → In Progress
assignee: nobody → Colin Watson (cjwatson)
Changed in less (Debian):
status: Unknown → Fix Committed
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package less - 481-2ubuntu1

less (481-2ubuntu1) xenial; urgency=medium

  * Reconcile multiple postinst scripts so that less registers a pager
    alternative again (closes: #812252, LP: #1548477).

 -- Colin Watson <email address hidden> Tue, 23 Feb 2016 11:18:22 +0000

Changed in less (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Fix Released
Changed in less (Debian):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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