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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       whatis - display manual page descriptions

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

       whatis [-dhV] [-r|-w] [-m system[,...]] [-M path] name ...

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       Each  manual  page has a short description available within it.	whatis
       searches the manual page names and displays the	manual	page  descriptions
 of any name matched.

       name may contain wildcards (-w) or be a regular expression (-r).  Using
       these options, it may be necessary to quote the name or escape (\)  the
       special characters to stop the shell from interpreting them.

       index  databases  are  used during the search.  To produce an old style
       text whatis database from the relative index database, issue  the  command:

       whatis -M manpath -w '*' | sort > manpath/whatis

       where manpath is a manual page hierarchy such as /usr/man.

OPTIONS    [Toc]    [Back]

       -d, --debug
	      Print debugging information.

       -r, --regex
	      Interpret  each name as a regular expression.  If a name matches
	      any part of a page name, a match	will  be  made.   This	option
	      causes  whatis  to be somewhat slower due to the nature of database

       -w, --wildcard
	      Interpret each name as a pattern containing  shell  style  wildcards.
   For a match to be made, an expanded name must match the
	      entire page name.  This option  causes  whatis  to  be  somewhat
	      slower due to the nature of database searches.

       -m system[,...], --systems=system[,...]
	      If  this	system	has  access to other operating system's manual
	      page names, they can be accessed using this option.   To	search
	      NewOS's manual page names, use the option -m NewOS.

	      The  system  specified  can  be a combination of comma delimited
	      operating system names.  To include a search of the native operating
 system's manual page names, include the system name man in
	      the argument string.  This  option  will	override  the  $SYSTEM
	      environment variable.

       -M path, --manpath=path
	      Specify  an alternate set of colon-delimited manual page hierarchies
 to search.	By default, apropos uses the $MANPATH environment
  variable,  unless  it  is empty or unset, in which case it
	      will determine an appropriate manpath based on your $PATH  environment
  variable.   This option overrides the contents of $MAN-

       -h, --help
	      Print a help message and exit.

       -V, --version
	      Display version and author information.

EXIT STATUS    [Toc]    [Back]

       0      Successful program execution.

       1      Usage, syntax or configuration file error.

       2      Operational error.

       16     No manual pages were found that matched the criteria  specified.

ENVIRONMENT    [Toc]    [Back]

       SYSTEM If  $SYSTEM  is  set,  it will have the same effect as if it had
	      been specified as the argument to the -m option.

       MANPATH    [Toc]    [Back]
	      If $MANPATH is set, its value is interpreted as the colon-delimited
 manual page hierarchy search path to use.

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

	      A traditional global index database cache.

	      An alternate or FSSTND compliant global index database cache.

	      A traditional whatis text database.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       apropos(1), man(1).

AUTHOR    [Toc]    [Back]

       Wilf. (G.Wilford@ee.surrey.ac.uk).
       Fabrizio Polacco (fpolacco@debian.org).

2.3.20			       07 September 2001		     whatis(1)
[ Back ]
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