Nov 28, 2008

Find out what a command does

Find out what a command does

At the command line, run:


whatis <command>



This will give you a one-line summary of a command.



If whatis doesn't work, the whatis database may not be built yet. To build the whatis database, enter this:



/usr/sbin/makewhatis



I can't remember the name of the command I need

The apropos command searches a database of commands, using keywords:


apropos <keyword>



Note that your keyword might not work. So try different keywords until it does!



If apropos does not work, you probably need to rebuild the whatis database with this command:



/usr/sbin/makewhatis