chkhelp - Linux


The chkhelp command provides contextual help for Linux commands, retrieving information from the system’s man pages. It simplifies the process of accessing documentation, making it easier to understand and utilize Linux commands effectively.


chkhelp <command> [options]


| Option | Description | Default |
| -m | Search only man pages for specific sections | All sections |
| -s | Print the section and name of the command | No |
| -q | Quiet mode, suppresses printing the usage | No |
| -v | Verbose mode, prints additional information | No |


  • Display the help page for the ls command:
chkhelp ls
  • Search for the -R option in the find man page:
chkhelp -m find -s -R
  • Print the usage of the mkdir command:
chkhelp -q mkdir
  • Display verbose information about the cp command:
chkhelp -v cp

Common Issues

  • No help found: If no help is found for the specified command, check if the command is installed or the spelling is correct.
  • Ambiguous search: When multiple commands share the same name, use the -s option to specify the section or provide a more specific search term.


chkhelp can be integrated with other commands to enhance functionality:

# Alias chkhelp to a shorter command
alias help=chkhelp

# Use chkhelp with xargs to display specific sections
man -f `chkhelp -m awk -s` | xargs man

Related Commands

  • man: Displays manual pages.
  • apropos: Searches for commands based on keywords.
  • info: Accesses the Info documentation.