basic operations

akonstam at akonstam at
Sat Dec 3 22:07:28 UTC 2005

> >> One good way to figure out what commands are available is to use the
> >> command apropos.
> >>
> >> apropos keyword
> >>
> >> Where keyword is something you are trying to do like:
> >>
> >> apropos filesystem
> >>
> >> apropos searches the whatis database for matches and lists short
> >> descriptions of system commands that match.
> >>
> >Uhhhh,   Don't you mean that apropos searches the man pages to find
> >things that match?
>  ...
> No, he meant what he said.  Apropos does not search man pages; it greps the
> whatis database, which is constructed by makewhatis from the man page
> headers, not from the man page bodies.  Apropos is a shell script, which
> you can read if you want to.
> Plug:  I have an improved apropos that handles multiple words in a useful
> way: <>

Hopefully not to add to the confusion let me add:
1. man -k <something>  works like apropos to search the whatis

2. However if you want to search all the man pages you can by using:
man -K <something>
which will search all the man pages stopping to let you look at any
man page that contains the <something> text.

Aaron Konstam
Computer Science
Trinity University
telephone: (210)-999-7484

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