I have both Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installed.

I want to search for documentation and read it off-line (as it is included to the installed packages in /usr/share/help and other locations). As far I can understand it has three formats:

  • HTML - .page (dpkg -S .page | grep -E /usr/share/help | awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq | wc -l returns 12 results)
  • DocBook - .docbook (dpkg -S .docbook | grep -E /usr/share/help | awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq | wc -l returns 21 results)
  • ManPage (many from manpath = /usr/local/man:/usr/local/share/man:/usr/share/man)

These files are rendered by Yelp program (from yelp package) with executables yelp and gnome-help.


  1. here on AskUbuntu was similar question about ScrollKeeper database (provided by rarian-compat package) without answer;
  2. there is a bug 726439 named "Search for document returns an Unknown error: 'URI xref:search=' could not be parsed" on LauchPad.net (from 2011 year) about broken(?) search in Yelp. If I press CtrlS to search searchterm in current version of Yelp it still returns

    Unknown Error
    The URI ‘xref:search=searchterm’ could not be parsed.

Of course I can run the grep over all these files, but is it possible to run such search from Yelp?

  • 1
    There are also info pages and actual .html files in the docs of some packages. – muru Jul 24 '18 at 9:52

This is especially for man pages in Linux.

find -name "cp.1.gz"| xargs zcat
  • 1
    What about `man -k yousearch| ? – solsTiCe Dec 18 '18 at 7:44


yelp man:<command>

For example:

yelp man:cp
  • I need search, not man-page of known application – N0rbert Apr 15 at 14:25

protected by N0rbert Jan 18 at 20:53

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