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Is the documentation available in other formats, such as plain text (ASCII), or Postscript?

Yes. The documentation is available in a number of different formats and compression schemes on the FreeBSD FTP site, in the /pub/FreeBSD/doc/ directory.

The documentation is categorized in a number of different ways. These include:

After choosing the format and compression mechanism that you want to download, you must then decide whether or not you want to download the document as a FreeBSD package.

The advantage of downloading and installing the package is that the documentation can then be managed using the normal FreeBSD package management comments, such as pkg_add(1) and pkg_delete(1).

If you decide to download and install the package then you must know the filename to download. The documentation-as-packages files are stored in a directory called packages. Each package file looks like document-name.lang.encoding.format.tgz.

For example, the FAQ, in English, formatted as PDF, is in the package called faq.en_US.ISO8859-1.pdf.tgz.

Knowing this, you can use the following command to install the English PDF FAQ package.

    # pkg_add ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/packages/faq.en_US.ISO8859-1.pdf.tgz

Having done that, you can use pkg_info(1) to determine where the file has been installed.

    # pkg_info -f faq.en_US.ISO8859-1.pdf
    Information for faq.en_US.ISO8859-1.pdf:
    Packing list:
            Package name: faq.en_US.ISO8859-1.pdf
            CWD to /usr/share/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq
    File: book.pdf
            CWD to .
    File: +COMMENT (ignored)
    File: +DESC (ignored)

As you can see, book.pdf will have been installed into /usr/share/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq.

If you do not want to use the packages then you will have to download the compressed files yourself, uncompress them, and then copy the appropriate documents into place.

For example, the split HTML version of the FAQ, compressed using gzip(1), can be found in the doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq/book.html-split.tar.gz file. To download and uncompress that file you would have to do this.

    # fetch ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq/book.html-split.tar.gz
    # gzip -d book.html-split.tar.gz
    # tar xvf book.html-split.tar

You will be left with a collection of .html files. The main one is called index.html, which will contain the table of contents, introductory material, and links to the other parts of the document. You can then copy or move these to their final location as necessary.

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