apropos - search the manual page names and descriptions


apropos  [-dhV] [-e|-w|-r] [-s section]
[-m system[,...]] [-M path] [-C file] keyword ...

Frequently used options

-s section, --section section   Search only 
the given manual section.
-e, --exact Each keyword will be exactly matched
against the page names and the descriptions.


This command searches a keyword in a command description text. Therefore it is easy to find out what commands are related to partitions when using partition as a keyword:

$ apropos partition 

search keyword in command description

It is not possible to remember all commands available on the Linux system however it is much easier to remember their functions therefore its hard to remember nmap and easy to remember scanner :

$ apropos scanner 

search for keyword with apropos
Searching using only a keyword may create a lot of output. With -s option you can limit the search for a particular manual section. Search for commands only related to a manual section 1 ( commands ):

$ apropos -s 1 partition 

search in selected manual section
to narrow down your output even more you can match exact words only with -e option:

$ apropos -e scan 

make apropose match only exact words
number of output lines with and without -e option:
compare number of outputs