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Linux & UNIX Command: makewhatis Command Reference / Man Page



makewhatis - Create the whatis database


makewhatis [-u] [-v] [-w] [-s sections ] [-c [catpath]] [-o whatisdb ]


makewhatis reads all the manual pages contained in the given sections
of manpath or the preformatted pages contained in the given sections
of catpath. For each page, it writes a line in the whatis database;
each line consists of the name of the page and a short description,
separated by a dash. The description is extracted using the content of
the NAME section of the manual page.

Since other languages use a different term for the NAME section, make-
whatis recognizes the equivalent terms in Czech, Italian, Finnish,
French, German and Spanish.

If no manpath argument is given, /usr/man is assumed by default.


-u Update database with new pages.

-v Verbose output

-w Use manpath obtained from 'man --path'

-s sections
Looks in the sections of manpath or catpath. If the option is
absent, its value is assumed to be ?1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 n l?

-c catpath
The preformatted manual pages located in catpath are scanned.
If the argument is not provided, it is assumed to be the first
existing directory between /usr/man/preformat and /usr/man.

-o whatisdb
Location of the whatis database. If the option is absent, it
is assumed to be /var/cache/man/whatis.


To rebuild the database for only those pages contained in the
/usr/X11R6/man and /usr/local/share/man file hierarchies

makewhatis /usr/X11R6/man /usr/local/share/man

To rebuild all the databases, including those of the Finnish, French
and Italian translations

LANGUAGE=fi:fr:it makewhatis -w


makewhatis may not handle too well manual pages written with non-stan-
dard troff macros, such as the Tcl/Tk pages.

makewhatis does not work on preformatted translations.


apropos, man, whatis

by Margaret Walker on Sat, 07/17/2010 - 20:29

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