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Question: Since 10.15.1. update apropos is broken

Since 10.15.1 was installed on my iMac, I notice that get the following results from any apropos request. Of course, it could be due to other apps that I've installed? I can't remember now which ones I've installed recently though!? But I do know that apropos was working under 10.15.0.


ksaro1@Alexs-iMac ~ % apropos smb


mount_smbfs(8)           - mount a shared resource from an SMB file server


nsmb.conf(5)             - configuration file for SMB requests


smb-sync-preferences(8)  - synchronize SMB server preferences


smbd(8)                  - SMB server daemon


smbdiagnose(8)           - gather information to aid in diagnosing SMB file sharing issues


smbutil(1)               - interface to the SMB requester


wspd(8)                  - search in smb share according to MS-WSP protocol


makewhatis: /usr/lib/./libgutenprint.2.dylib: No such file or directory


makewhatis: /usr/lib/libsasl2.2.0.1.dylib: Not a directory


makewhatis: /usr/lib/libldap.dylib: Not a directory


makewhatis: /usr/lib/libsqlite3.0.dylib: Not a directory


makewhatis: /usr/lib/libcom_err.dylib: Not a directory


makewhatis: /usr/lib/libresolv.dylib: Not a directory


makewhatis: /usr/lib/libnetsnmpagent.dylib: Not a directory


makewhatis: /usr/lib/libMatch.1.dylib: Not a directory




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Nov 5, 2019 2:20 PM in response to ksaro1 In response to ksaro1

I noticed the same thing, and confirmed that it started with 10.15.1.

The command actually works, but it spits out nearly 300 lines of “Not a directory” errors.

I initially thought that perhaps it wasn’t handling symlinks correctly, but many of the errors are not from symlinks so the problem is something else.

I was also concerned at first that the problem might be deeper than just “makewhatis” but after a little more investigation not so much.

I’ve added a function to my .zshrc as a workaround:

apo() { apropos $1 2>/dev/null }

It seems to work as a qad solution.



Nov 5, 2019 2:20 PM

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Nov 5, 2019 2:27 PM in response to ksaro1 In response to ksaro1

I usually use man -k for such searches. On Mojave...


apropos smb

cupsaddsmb(8)            - export printers to samba for windows clients

mount_smbfs(8)           - mount a shared resource from an SMB file server

nsmb.conf(5)             - configuration file for SMB requests

smb-sync-preferences(8)  - synchronize SMB server preferences

smbd(8)                  - SMB server daemon

smbdiagnose(8)           - gather information to aid in diagnosing SMB file sharing issues

smbutil(1)               - interface to the SMB requester


which is the same as...


 man -k smb

cupsaddsmb(8)            - export printers to samba for windows clients

mount_smbfs(8)           - mount a shared resource from an SMB file server

nsmb.conf(5)             - configuration file for SMB requests

smb-sync-preferences(8)  - synchronize SMB server preferences

smbd(8)                  - SMB server daemon

smbdiagnose(8)           - gather information to aid in diagnosing SMB file sharing issues

smbutil(1)               - interface to the SMB requester


Does man -k work properly on 10.15.1?

Nov 5, 2019 2:27 PM

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Nov 7, 2019 3:07 AM in response to lprall In response to lprall

I think this issue is related to making / read-only. From man page of makewhatis I see


the default directory /usr/share/man will be processed.


I've not played around with setting MANPATH to a writeable area, but my guess is that would prevent these errors. However, the system man pages are all on / so what can you do?

Nov 7, 2019 3:07 AM

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Question: Since 10.15.1. update apropos is broken