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Linux 2.6 - man page for apropos (linux section 1)

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APROPOS(1)				Manual pager utils			       APROPOS(1)

NAME
       apropos - search the manual page names and descriptions

SYNOPSIS
       apropos	[-dalhvV]  [-e|-w|-r] [-s list] [-m system[,...]] [-M path] [-L locale] [-C file]
       keyword ...

DESCRIPTION
       Each manual page has a short  description  available  within  it.   apropos  searches  the
       descriptions for instances of keyword.

       keyword	is  usually  a	regular expression, as if (-r) was used, or may contain wildcards
       (-w), or match the exact keyword (-e).  Using these options, it may be necessary to  quote
       the keyword or escape (\) the special characters to stop the shell from interpreting them.

       The standard matching rules allow matches to be made against the page name and word bound-
       aries in the description.

       The database searched by apropos is updated by  the  mandb  program.   Depending  on  your
       installation, this may be run by a periodic cron job, or may need to be run manually after
       new manual pages have been installed.

OPTIONS
       -d, --debug
	      Print debugging information.

       -v, --verbose
	      Print verbose warning messages.

       -r, --regex
	      Interpret each keyword as a regular expression.  This  is  the  default  behaviour.
	      Each  keyword  will be matched against the page names and the descriptions indepen-
	      dently.  It can match any part of either.  The match is not limited to word  bound-
	      aries.

       -w, --wildcard
	      Interpret each keyword as a pattern containing shell style wildcards.  Each keyword
	      will be matched against the page names  and  the	descriptions  independently.   If
	      --exact  is also used, a match will only be found if an expanded keyword matches an
	      entire description or page name.	Otherwise the keyword is also allowed to match on
	      word boundaries in the description.

       -e, --exact
	      Each keyword will be exactly matched against the page names and the descriptions.

       -a, --and
	      Only display items that match all the supplied keywords.	The default is to display
	      items that match any keyword.

       -l, --long
	      Do not trim output to the terminal width.  Normally, output will	be  truncated  to
	      the terminal width to avoid ugly results from poorly-written NAME sections.

       -s list, --sections list, --section list
	      Search only the given manual sections.  list is a colon- or comma-separated list of
	      sections.  If an entry in list is a simple section, for example "3", then the  dis-
	      played  list of descriptions will include pages in sections "3", "3perl", "3x", and
	      so on; while if an entry in list has an extension, for example  "3perl",	then  the
	      list will only include pages in that exact part of the manual section.

       -m system[,...], --systems=system[,...]
	      If  this	system	has  access to other operating system's manual page descriptions,
	      they can be searched using this option.  To search  NewOS's  manual  page  descrip-
	      tions, use the option -m NewOS.

	      The  system  specified  can  be  a  combination of comma-delimited operating system
	      names.  To include a search of the native operating system's  whatis  descriptions,
	      include  the system name man in the argument string.  This option will override the
	      $SYSTEM environment variable.

       -M path, --manpath=path
	      Specify an alternate set of colon-delimited manual page hierarchies to search.   By
	      default,	apropos  uses  the  $MANPATH  environment variable, unless it is empty or
	      unset, in which case it will determine an appropriate manpath based on  your  $PATH
	      environment variable.  This option overrides the contents of $MANPATH.

       -L locale, --locale=locale
	      apropos  will  normally  determine  your current locale by a call to the C function
	      setlocale(3) which interrogates various environment variables,  possibly	including
	      $LC_MESSAGES  and  $LANG.   To  temporarily override the determined value, use this
	      option to supply a locale string directly to apropos.  Note that it will	not  take
	      effect until the search for pages actually begins.  Output such as the help message
	      will always be displayed in the initially determined locale.

       -C file, --config-file=file
	      Use this user configuration file rather than the default of ~/.manpath.

       -h, --help
	      Print a help message and exit.

       -V, --version
	      Display version information.

EXIT STATUS
       0      Successful program execution.

       1      Usage, syntax or configuration file error.

       2      Operational error.

       16     Nothing was found that matched the criteria specified.

ENVIRONMENT
       SYSTEM If $SYSTEM is set, it will have the same effect as if it had been specified as  the
	      argument to the -m option.

       MANPATH
	      If  $MANPATH  is	set,  its value is interpreted as the colon-delimited manual page
	      hierarchy search path to use.

       MANWIDTH
	      If $MANWIDTH is set, its value is used  as  the  terminal  width	(see  the  --long
	      option).	If it is not set, the terminal width will be calculated using an ioctl(2)
	      if available, the value of $COLUMNS, or falling back to 80 characters if	all  else
	      fails.

       POSIXLY_CORRECT
	      If  $POSIXLY_CORRECT  is set, even to a null value, the default apropos search will
	      be as an extended regex (-r).  Nowadays, this is the default behaviour anyway.

FILES
       /usr/share/man/index.(bt|db|dir|pag)
	      A traditional global index database cache.

       /var/cache/man/index.(bt|db|dir|pag)
	      An FHS compliant global index database cache.

       /usr/share/man/.../whatis
	      A traditional whatis text database.

SEE ALSO
       whatis(1), man(1), mandb(8).

AUTHOR
       Wilf. (G.Wilford@ee.surrey.ac.uk).
       Fabrizio Polacco (fpolacco@debian.org).
       Colin Watson (cjwatson@debian.org).

2.6.0.2 				    2011-04-13				       APROPOS(1)
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