Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: March 2013
whereis locates the binary, source and manual files for the specified command names. The supplied names are first stripped of leading pathname components and any (single) trailing extension of the form .ext (for example: .c) Prefixes of s. resulting from use of source code control are also dealt with. whereis then attempts to locate the desired program in the standard Linux places, and in the places specified by $PATH and $MANPATH.
The search restrinctions (options -b, -m and -s) are cumulative and always applied for the next name patterns specified on command line. The first search restrinction resets the search mask. For example
whereis -bm ls tr -m gcc
searchs for "ls" and "tr" binaries and man pages, and "gcc" man pages only.
The options -B, -M and -S resets search paths for the next name patterns. For example
whereis -m ls -M /usr/share/man/man1 -f cal
searchs for "ls" man pages in all default paths, but for "cal" in /usr/share/man/man1 directory only.
To find all files in /usr/:bin which are not documented in /usr/:man/:man1 or have no source in /usr/:src:
:$ cd /usr/bin
$ whereis -u -ms -M /usr/man/man1 -S /usr/src -f *:
By default whereis tries to find files from hard-coded paths, which are defined with glob patterns. The command attempst to use contents of $PATH and $MANPATH environment variables as default search path. The easiest way to know what paths are in use is to add -l listing option. Effects of the -B, -M, and -S are display with -l.
The whereis command is part of the util-linux package and is available from Linux Kernel Archive
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