I've read couple of posts (man -k returns no results) and first run mandb (nothing was updated), then mandb -c (7438 manual pages were added.), still

$ apropos compilation compilation: nothing appropriate.


$ MANWIDTH=120 man objdump | grep -B 5 compilation  
       objdump displays information about one or more object files.  The options control what particular information
       to display.  This information is mostly useful to programmers who are working on the compilation tools, as

clealy shows compilation is within DESCRIPTION part of man page.

$ man apropos  
Each manual page has a short description available within it.  apropos searches the descriptions for instances of keyword.

Why couldn't apropos find it?

System: Linux Mint 19.


When man apropos refers to “a short description”, it’s not referring to the “DESCRIPTION” section of the manpage, but to the short description which follows the command name in the “NAME” section. In objdump’s case, that’s


objdump - display information from object files.

i.e. the short description is “display information from object files”.


apropos "object files"

finds objdump.

  • looks correct, that is much less info searched than I realized before. – Marisha Sep 30 '19 at 11:18

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