Provided by: man-db_2.6.0.2-2_i386 bug

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 boundaries 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 independently.  It can match any
              part of either.  The match is not limited to word boundaries.

       -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  displayed  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  descriptions,  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).