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APROPOS(1) NetBSD General Commands Manual APROPOS(1)
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Maintained for NetBSD
by Kimmo Suominen.
Based on man-cgi by Panagiotis Christias.
apropos -- search the complete content of all man pages
apropos [-123456789hilMmPpr] [-C path] [-n results] [-S machine]
[-s section] query
The apropos utility performs a full text search over the complete content
of all man pages. It uses the FTS engine of SQLite to perform the
search. The database is created with the help of the makemandb(8) util-
This implementation of the apropos utility is more sophisticated than the
classical version. Like modern search applications, it uses advanced
techniques like stemming and term weighting to rank the matching results
in decreasing order of relevance.
Quotes are optional for specifying multiword queries.
It supports the following options:
-1, ..., -9
Limit the search to the specified section of the manual. By
default, pages from all sections are shown. These options
are abbreviations for the -s option for single digit sec-
-C path Use different man(1) configuration file than the default,
-h Turn on html formatting.
-i Turn on terminal escape code formatting.
-l Legacy mode: Only searches name and name description. Does
not print context and turns off formatting.
-M Do not show the context of the match.
-m Show the context of the match (default).
-n results Output up to the specified number of search results. The
default limit is infinity.
-P Turn on pager formatting.
-p Turn on pager formatting, and pipe the results through a
pager (defaulting to more(1)).
-r Turn off formatting.
-S machine Limit the search to the pages for the specified machine
architecture. By default pages for all architectures are
shown in the search results.
-s section Limit the search to the specified section of the manual. By
default, pages from all sections are shown. For single digit
sections you can use abbreviations: -1, ..., -9.
/etc/man.conf The location of the SQLite FTS database can be configured
using the _mandb tag.
APROPOS This environment variable is white-space tokenized as an
argument vector and the options in it are parsed and
set. Command line options override the environment
PAGER The pagination command used for writing the output,
should this be requested. If the PAGER environment
variable is null or not set, the standard pagination
program more(1) will be used.
man(1), whatis(1), man.conf(5), makemandb(8)
The apropos command appeared in 3BSD. It was rewritten in NetBSD 6.0 to
support full text search using SQLite.
NetBSD 9.3 May 17, 2022 NetBSD 9.3