> Linux Man Page: "whereis"


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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


whereis - locate the binary, source, and manual page files for a command


whereis [ -bmsu ] [ -BMS directory... -f ] filename ...


whereis locates source/binary and manuals sections for specified files. The supplied names are first stripped of leading pathname components and any (single) trailing extension of the form .ext, for example, .c. Prefixes of s. resulting from use of source code control are also dealt with. whereis then attempts to locate the desired program in a list of standard Linux places.


Search only for binaries.

Search only for manual sections.

Search only for sources.

Search for unusual entries. A file is said to be unusual if it does not have one entry of each requested type. Thus ‘whereis -m -u *’ asks for those files in the current directory which have no documentation.

Change or otherwise limit the places where whereis searches for binaries.

Change or otherwise limit the places where whereis searches for manual sections.

Change or otherwise limit the places where whereis searches for sources.

Terminate the last directory list and signals the start of file names, and must be used when any of the -B, -M, or -S options are used.


Find all files in /usr/bin which are not documented in /usr/man/man1 with source in /usr/src:

example% cd /usr/bin
example% whereis -u -M /usr/man/man1 -S /usr/src -f *



/usr/{lib,bin,old,new,local,games,include,etc,src,man,sbin, X386,TeX,g++-include}


See Also



Since whereis uses chdir(2V) to run faster, pathnames given with the -M, -S, or -B must be full; that is, they must begin with a ‘/’.

whereis has a hard-coded path, so may not always find what you’re looking for.


The whereis command is part of the util-linux-ng package and is available from

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