Published by Jesse Afolabi on

apropos Linux command on ChromeOS

What is apropos command in Linux. Apropos is an application that was made to be an easy-to-use (and simple) way to quickly and efficiently search a selected text within the shell (e.g. bash, fish, vim, …) for a particular word or phrase.

An apropos command is an application that would be used when you need to quickly categorize files based on common rules such as date, name, or file size. An apropos command would have a set of criteria that would be applied to file names. Apropos would then display the results in a convenient, user-friendly way to quickly sort the files

Apropos as a baked-in Linux command has been made as ab easy-to-use (and simple) way to quickly find files in Linux. It’s a multi-purpose application, so it’s very versatile. It has many different commands that you can use to quickly pull files from your computer. You can use it to find files in different directories or other file types. It has many different commands to quickly navigate and display a short man page description of a command/program as follows. 


       apropos  [-dalv?V] [-e|-w|-r] [-s list] [-m system[,…]] [-M path] [-L

       locale] [-C file] keyword …



       Each manual page has a short description available within it and apropos is the specific tool that enables you to search through the description of a manpage for the instances of a specific keyword. 

A keyword in this case may be defined as 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.


-d, –debug emit debugging messages
-v, –verbose print verbose warning messages
-e, –exact search each keyword for exact match
-r, –regex interpret each keyword as a regex
-w, –wildcard the keyword(s) contain wildcards
-a, –and require all keywords to match
-l, –long do not trim output to terminal width
-C, –config-file=FILE use this user configuration file
-L, –locale=LOCALE define the locale for this search
-m, –systems=SYSTEM use manual pages from other systems
-M, –manpath=PATH set search path for manual pages to PATH
-s, –sections=LIST, –section=LIST
search only these sections (colon-separated)
-?, –help give this help list
–usage give a short usage message
-V, –version print program version


$ apropos adduser


Jesse Afolabi

Having been a technical writer for over 4 years, and co-founded Fossmint.com in 2016, I took my passion to the next level with the founding of Itschromeos.com which so happens to revolve around my love for open-source technologies and Chrome OS. It's my hope to venture into new avenues in the tech universe and take you with me on that ride.


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