Some packages' man pages (not from Red Hat) contain funny characters in the
summary line. This seems to happen especially with mathematics libraries
which have funny characters for mathematical symbols. This breaks apropos,
because it uses grep and grep doesn't print matching lines from a 'binary
Thus you get:
% apropos sgml
Binary file /usr/man/whatis matches
These packages are behaving badly by putting weird characters into their
man pages, but apropos should be able to cope.
The fix is to pass the -a or --text flag to grep. This can be done by
changing a couple of lines in /usr/bin/apropos:
The same change needs to be made to /usr/bin/whatis - in fact they are the
same file apart from one tiny change. I think the intention is that one be
a symlink to the other and then the program looks at $0 when run - I'm not
sure why you've chosen not to do it like this.
Look at bugzilla 24121 - I have fixed this in the srpm...
Fixed in 1.5i-1
*** Bug 24121 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***