I have a minimal installation of CentOS 5.7 32-bit on a VM.

The apropos command always returns "nothing appropriate"

[root@localhost ~]# apropos man
man: nothing appropriate

Even after I run updatedb. It works on another CentOS server I have.


Try executing 'makewhatis' as root. That updates the man page database, and creates it if it doesn't already exist, which it may not on a fresh installation.

'updatedb' updates the database for 'locate', and probably isn't related to this issue.

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    If using CentOS7 the command 'mandb' has replaced makewhatis. – Kentgrav Jul 22 '15 at 0:35
  • 1
    I have run mandb as root. and it works. – AsimRazaKhan Feb 18 '18 at 7:34

sudo mandb solved the problem for me. It regenerates the apropos database, but you have to make sure you run it with sudo.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    what and how, what did it do? – Pimp Juice IT Aug 27 '19 at 3:24
  • Apparently it regenerates the apropos database. Answer modified. – RufusVS Aug 29 '19 at 15:48

sudo mandb -c solved this issue for me on CentOS 8. The database needed to be created after a fresh install.

| improve this answer | |
  • This answer has already been given twice. – music2myear Apr 4 at 20:55
  • "sudo mandb -c" is the correct one, thanks. Already given onces are slightly different :) – izy May 6 at 0:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.