apropos: What’s appropriate, at the time

I have apropos on my list for applications, but to be honest it’s more of a command than an actual program.

2013-08-13-v5-122p-apropos 2013-08-13-v5-122p-whatis

apropos (and its sibling whatis) are both part of man-db, and if you try to use apropos and get nothing from it, that’s probably because you need to run mandb first. (Hint, Arch users.)

Once it has a database of commands available to your system, apropos will help you pin down commands you can’t remember or can’t get right.

Notice that the output from the two commands is slightly different; if I understand it right, apropos is searching through man pages while whatis is only skimming descriptions.

apropos and whatis are both good commands for beginners to know, and even seasoned Linux nerds can rely on them at times. I know I do. 🙄

2 thoughts on “apropos: What’s appropriate, at the time

  1. Kevin

    You can also do “man -k [searchterm]” to get the same behavior as apropos if you can’t remember how to spell it, or want to save a keystroke. I’m not running man-db. I am instead using the old-school man: http://primates.ximian.com/~flucifredi/man/ so I don’t know if this works on man-db or not.

  2. Pingback: Links 21/8/2013: Diversity on the Desktop, Android as Distro | Techrights

Comments are closed.