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How is the path to search for 'man' pages set?

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – I'm puzzled by how the path used for finding man pages is set. The "right thing" seems to happen magically. For example, if change my PATH from /usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/opt/X11/bin:/usr/local/git/bin:/usr/texbin to /usr/local/git/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/opt/X11/bin:/usr/local/git/bin:/usr/texbin the path searched for man pages (according to man --path) changes from /usr/share/man:/usr/local/share/man:/opt/X11/share/man:/usr/local/git/share/man:/usr/texbin/man to /usr/local/git/share/man:/usr/share/man:/usr/local/share/man:/opt/X11/share/m (HowTos)