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Re: Strange apropos(1) behavior?

I replied to Paul privately but posting it publicly here for others:

On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 4:40 PM Paul Goyette <> wrote:
> On Fri, 19 Apr 2019, Paul Goyette wrote:
> > Should it be possible to use both the -l (legacy mode) option and specify a
> > specific section -[1-9] ?
> >
> > # apropos -l -8 specific
> > apropos: no such table: mandb
> > apropos: No relevant results obtained.
> > Please make sure that you spelled all the terms correctly or try using
> > different keywords.

This is a bug and I am looking into it.

> And another anomaly:
> # apropos -p specific
> apropos: Cannot allocate 140187716927593 bytes: Cannot allocate memory
This was fixed in revision 1.42 of apropos-utils.c, Paul verified that
it works with that fix.

> And while we're at it, the man page for apropos(1) says that the -p
> option _defaults_ to using more(1) as the pager, implying that it should
> be possible to use a different pager.  Yet there is no option to tell
> apropos to which other pager the output should be piped!
> And finally, the -P option is documented in the apropos(1) man page as
> also "Turn on pager formatting".  Is this correct?  Or should one of
> these two options be a "Turn _off_ pager formatting" ?  :)

Joerg already clarified the usage of these options but I will try to
improve the wording in the man page.


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