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WHATIS(1)		      Manual pager utils		     WHATIS(1)

       whatis - display manual page descriptions

       whatis  [-dlv?V]	 [-r|-w]  [-s  list]  [-m  system[,...]] [-M path] [-L
       locale] [-C file] name ...

       Each manual page has a short description available within  it.	whatis
       searches	 the  manual  page names and displays the manual page descrip-
       tions 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,  and	 are  updated  by  the
       mandb  program.	 Depending  on your installation, this may be run by a
       periodic cron job, or may need to be  run  manually  after  new	manual
       pages  have  been installed.  To produce an old style text whatis data-
       base 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.

       -d, --debug
	      Print debugging information.

       -v, --verbose
	      Print verbose warning messages.

       -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	 data-
	      base searches.

       -w, --wildcard
	      Interpret	 each  name  as a pattern containing shell style wild-
	      cards.  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.

       -l, --long
	      Do not trim output to the terminal width.	 Normally, output will
	      be  truncated  to	 the terminal width to avoid ugly results from
	      poorly-written NAME sections.

       -s list, --sections list, --section list
	      Search only the given manual sections.   list  is	 a  colon-  or
	      comma-separated list of sections.	 If an entry in list is a sim-
	      ple section,  for	 example  "3",	then  the  displayed  list  of
	      descriptions  will include pages in sections "3", "3perl", "3x",
	      and so on; while if an entry in list has an extension, for exam-
	      ple "3perl", then the list will only include pages in that exact
	      part of the manual section.

       -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 oper-
	      ating 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  hierar-
	      chies  to search.	 By default, whatis uses the $MANPATH environ-
	      ment variable, unless it is empty or unset,  in  which  case  it
	      will  determine an appropriate manpath based on your $PATH envi-
	      ronment variable.	 This option overrides the contents  of	 $MAN-

       -L locale, --locale=locale
	      whatis  will normally determine your current locale by a call to
	      the C function setlocale(3) which interrogates various  environ-
	      ment  variables,	possibly including $LC_MESSAGES and $LANG.  To
	      temporarily override the determined value, use  this  option  to
	      supply  a	 locale	 string directly to whatis.  Note that it will
	      not take effect until the	 search	 for  pages  actually  begins.
	      Output  such as the help message will always be displayed in the
	      initially determined locale.

       -C file, --config-file=file
	      Use this user configuration file	rather	than  the  default  of

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

	      Print a short usage message and exit.

       -V, --version
	      Display version information.

       0      Successful program execution.

       1      Usage, syntax or configuration file error.

       2      Operational error.

       16     Nothing was found that matched the criteria specified.

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

	      If $MANPATH is set, its value is interpreted as the colon-delim-
	      ited manual page hierarchy search path to use.

	      If  $MANWIDTH  is	 set,  its value is used as the terminal width
	      (see the --long option).	If it is not set, the  terminal	 width
	      will  be calculated using an ioctl(2) if available, the value of
	      $COLUMNS, or falling back to 80 characters if all else fails.

	      A traditional global index database cache.

	      An FHS compliant global index database cache.

	      A traditional whatis text database.

       apropos(1), man(1), mandb(8)

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

2.6.3				  2012-09-17			     WHATIS(1)