> Linux Man Page: "whatis"


Search with Google


The Linux Documentation Project maintains an archive of snaphots of the (English language) core Linux manual pages that are maintained by Michael Kerrisk. Corrections and additions are welcome, but review the "Help Wanted" list, first.

Man pages belonging to programs are usually distributed together with those programs. Therefore, the core Linux man-pages mainly contains the pages for system calls and library routines, special devices, and file formats. However, it also contains documentation for a few programs, in cases where the authors or maintainers of the program do not distribute man pages themselves.

This page is part of release 3.11 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at


man page(1) manual page Table of Contents


whatis - search the whatis database for complete words.


whatis keyword ...


whatis searches a set of database files containing short descriptions of system commands for keywords and displays the result on the standard output. Only complete word matches are displayed.

The whatis database is created using the command /usr/sbin/makewhatis.


John W. Eaton was the original author of man. Zeyd M. Ben-Halim released man 1.2, and Andries Brouwer followed up with versions 1.3 thru 1.5p. Federico Lucifredi <> is the current maintainer.

See Also

apropos(1) , man(1) .

Table of Contents

use open software!