WHATIS(1) BSD Reference Manual WHATIS(1)
whatis - describe what a command is
whatis [-C file] [-M path] [-m path] command [...]
whatis looks up a given command and gives the header line from the manual page. You can then use the man(1) command to get more information. whatis will match on a case insensitive basis and for multiple word entries will match on each individual word. The options are as follows: -C file Specify an alternate configuration file in man.conf(5) format. The default is /etc/man.conf. -M path Override the list of standard directories whatis searches for its database named "whatis.db". The supplied path must be a colon (':') separated list of directories. This search path may also be set using the environment variable MANPATH. -m path Augment the list of standard directories whatis searches for its database named "whatis.db". The supplied path must be a colon- separated list of directories. These directories will be searched before the standard directories or the directories supplied with the -M option or the MANPATH environment variable are searched.
MANPATH The standard search path used by man(1) may be overridden by specifying a path in the MANPATH environment variable.
whatis.db name of the whatis database /etc/man.conf default man(1) configuration file
apropos(1), man(1), whereis(1), which(1), man.conf(5), makewhatis(8)
The whatis command appeared in 3.0BSD. MirOS BSD #10-current June 6, 1993 1
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