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apropos command in Linux with Examples

Linux/Unix comes with a huge number of commands and thus it become quite difficult sometimes to remember each and every command. apropos command becomes useful in such cases. apropos command helps the user when they don’t remember the exact command but knows a few keywords related to the command that define its uses or functionality. It searches the Linux man page with the help of the keyword provided by the user to find the command and its functions.


apropos [OPTION..] KEYWORD...

Example 1: Suppose you don’t know how to compress a file then you could type the following command in terminal and it will show all the related command and its short description or functionality.


After executing the above command you will observe a bunch of commands is listed on the terminal that deals with not only how to compress a file but also how to expand a compressed file, search a compressed file, comparing a compressed file etc.


Example 2: apropos also support multiple keywords if given as an argument i.e. we can also provide more than one keyword for a better search. Thus, if two keywords are provided the apropos command will display all the command’s list which contains either the first keyword in its man page description or the second keyword.


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