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Recipe 1.3. Finding Appropriate man Pages
You need a program or utility to perform a specific function—for example, counting the words in a file—but you don't know what to look for. If you knew what you were looking for, you wouldn't need to look for it, right? How do you get out of this dilemma?
$ apropos count words
$ man -k count words american-english (5) - a list of english words grpconv (8) - convert to and from shadow passwords and groups. grpunconv (8) - convert to and from shadow passwords and groups. kmessedwords (1) - a letter order game for KDE lppasswd (1) - add, change, or delete digest passwords. pwconv (8) - convert to and from shadow passwords and groups. pwunconv (8) - convert to and from shadow passwords and groups. shadowconfig (8) - toggle shadow passwords on and off wc (1) - print the number of newlines, words, and bytes in files
It doesn't matter which you use; apropos and man -k are the same. There are a lot of options, but wc looks like the program you want.
$ man -f manpath manpath (1) - determine search path for manual pages manpath (5) - format of the /etc/manpath.config file
These commands perform keyword searches in the Description sections of the man pages. You can use any number of search terms, but the more you use, the more results you'll get, because they search each keyword in sequence.
Because these are literal keyword searches, broad concepts like "bandwidth shaping" or "user management" do not carry the same meaning for apropos and man -k; they see "bandwidth shaping" as two unrelated search terms, so single-word searches usually work best.
1.3.4 See Also
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