Use apropos to find the command you’re looking for

A quick command line tip for you today.

The manual page system built into Unix-like operating systems is often very helpful for looking up how to use a particular command. But what do you do if you know what you want to do, but not the command name? Or you want to look up all the commands relating to a specific keyword?

The apropos command looks through the man database and does exactly that. Give it a keyword and it will return you a list of possible matches, along with a handy description of each one.

apropos mkdir screenshot

It is a vital tool in your command line toolbox and can often save your sanity when your memory fails you on that command name. Enjoy!

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Use apropos to find the command you’re looking for

  1. # Posted on 23 January 2008 at 02:16 PM

    [...] FOSSwire] Share this post: Share this post with the [...]



  2. # Posted on 23 January 2008 at 05:26 PM

    [...] FOSSwire » Use apropos to find the command you’re looking for (tags: command commandline Commands education inspiration learning linux shell tips tutorial unix terminal) [...]



  3. # Posted on 24 January 2008 at 01:04 PM

    [...] prie Juozo pradėto švietimo. Pasirodo *nix sistemose galima rasti komandą apropos, kuri padeda surasti visas susijusias su ieškoma tema komandas. Pavyzdžiui apropos resolution turėtų parodyti visas komandas, reguliuojančias ekrano gebą ir [...]



  4. # Posted on 25 January 2008 at 07:12 AM

    [...] of Linux distros and other terminals. For more beginner help, check out Unix resources for newbies. Use apropos to find the command you’re looking for [...]



  5. erick (guest)

    # Posted on 30 January 2008 at 12:55 PM

    nice.



  6. Macca (guest)

    # Posted on 24 April 2008 at 12:04 AM

    man -k <i>keyword</i> does the same thing, and is much easier to remember (and spell correctly!)



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