UNIX/LINUX Command – whereis

March 1, 2019



whereis—Locate the binary, source, and manual page files for a command


whereis [ –bmsu ][-BMS directory… -f ] filename …


whereis locates source/binary and manuals sections for specified files. 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 a list of standard Linux places:


Options Description
-b Search only for binaries.
-m Search only for manual sections.
-s Search only for sources.
-u Search for unusual entries. A file is said to be unusual if it does not have one entry of each requested type. Thus whereisnn–mnn–unn* asks for those files in the current directory which have no documentation.
-B Change or otherwise limit the places where whereis searches for binaries.
-M Change or otherwise limit the places where whereis searches for manual sections.
-S Change or otherwise limit the places where whereis searches for sources.
-f Terminate the last directory list and signals the start of filenames; must be used when any of the -B, -M, or -S options are used.


Find all files in /usr/bin that are not documented in /usr/man/man1 with source in /usr/src:
example% cd /usr/bin
example% whereis -u -M /usr/man/man1 -S /usr/src -f *


/usr/{lib,bin,old,new,local,games,include,etc,src,man,sbin,X386, TeX, g++-include}

Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar

I am Satish Kumar, Founder of LinuxConcept. Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, love to work on open source platform and technologies.

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