Wikiman: An Offline Search Engine For Arch Linux, Gentoo Wiki, And More


Official documentation of applications or commands is always the best way to learn about them if you want to know every detail, which a blog or article can’t provide.

And in the Linux community, we can’t deny Arch Wiki is truly a go-to place for anything you want to learn about Linux. Besides Arch, there are other documentations as well which you may also want to prefer like Gentoo or FreeBSD.

So, whether you want to know about a command or jargon in Linux, you can refer to any of the Wiki sites available. But if you’re looking for something that can provide documentation not only of Arch Linux but also of Gentoo, FreeBSD, and others to read in an offline mode, meet Wikiman.

Wikiman Is An Offline System Documentation Search Engine


Wikiman is a free and open source command-line tool by Filip Parag for Linux and BSD-based operating systems. The tool allows you to browse through manual pages, Arch Wiki, Gentoo Wiki, and other docs without a need for an Internet connection.

Version 1.0 of Wikiman was the first initial release on August 23, 2020, and until now it has reached up to v2.12.1, originally arrived in the last week of September.

By default, Wikiman only searches the system’s manual pages until you download the other type of documentation. As you can see in the picture below, wikiman -S command displays all available docs with active source and its path.

Default wiki to search

Like Google searches, you also don’t need to know the exact word to browse as Wikiman utilizes full-text search for keywords and fuzzy filtering of displayed search results.

As soon as you enter the word and press enter, it lists down all available results along with all pieces of information in the right box.

Browse without the exact word
Browse without the exact word

How To Browse Other Wiki Documentation?

Before anything else, first download the latest Wikiman packages from here and then install it following the given commands for your respective Linux distros.

Currently, Wikiman has four available optional sources: Arch Wiki (arch), Gentoo Wiki (gentoo), FreeBSD Documentation (fbsd), and TLDR Pages (tldr). To get results from wiki docs other than man pages, you need to download their snapshots by running commands:

# install arch wiki
curl -L '' -o 'wikiman-makefile'
make -f ./wikiman-makefile source-arch
sudo make -f ./wikiman-makefile source-install
sudo make -f ./wikiman-makefile clean
Download Arch Wiki for Wikiman
Download Arch Wiki

Here, replace source-arch with source-gentoo for Gentoo Wiki, source fbsd for FreeBSD docs, and source tldr for TLDR pages.

Once you download all the docs, verify the active sources by running:

wikiman -S
Verify source available for Wikiman

Lastly, if you want to browse through specific wiki docs like Arch, run the command:

# syntax: wikiman -s <wiki-docs> <search-query>
wikiman -s arch install

For more information about Wikiman usage and configuration, visit its GitHub repo.

Sarvottam Kumar

Sarvottam Kumar

Sarvottam Kumar is a software engineer by profession with interest and experience in Blockchain, Angular, React and Flutter. He loves to explore the nuts and bolts of Linux and share his experience and insights of Linux and open source on the web/various prestigious portals.
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