Use whatis to display brief description of commands

by Daniel Pham
Published: Updated:
This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Linux commands: Part 5 - Working with commands

Use whatis to display a brief description of the commands. This article will help you know whatis command.

What is the whatis command used for?

It displays the name and a line described in the man page of the command to view.

Use whatis command

The structure of whatis commands is extremely simple.

$ whatis [command]

We will see some examples below.

Recommended Reading: Display man page with man command

use the whatis command to display a description of some commands
Use the whatis command to display a description of some commands.

Tips: Most man pages are often difficult to read, it is almost a reference document, not a tutorials. So whatis command as a way to understand the meaning of the command faster and easier.

Recommended Reading: Display appropriate commands with apropos command


It is not easy to grasp the meaning of all commands in Linux.

For the commands you use often to work, that’s not really difficult. But what about the commands that you occasionally use?

Now the man or apropos or whatis commands will have its effect.

(This is an article from my old blog that has been inactive for a long time, I don’t want to throw it away so I will keep it and hope it helps someone).

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Series Navigation«« Previous part: Display appropriate commands with “apropos” commandNext part: Display program’s info entry with info command »»

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