September 4, 2008

An amazing but unknown Linux command: apropos

When working in Linux, I read lot of man pages for different commands while looking for some helpful information on how to use the command. But sometimes it’s hard to find a correct man page, because you have to know the exact man page’s name. Apropos is a man page searcher that works like a little google search on your Linux box and let you find a man page that you are looking for.


I didn’t know about this amazing command while I haven’t found it in an article at


  1. [root@pldmachine ~]# which apropos
    /usr/bin/which: no apropos in (/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/X11R6/bin:/usr/X11R6/sbin:/root/bin)
    [root@pldmachine ~]#

    So it is not standard Linux package... just some addional tool.

  2. Well, yeah, you are right. It's in the man-db package.