index UNIX manuals
utility extracts keywords from
manuals and indexes them in a database for fast
retrieval by apropos(1)
By default, makewhatis
creates a database in each
using the files
in that directory. Existing databases are replaced. If a directory contains no
manual pages, no database is created in that directory. If
is not provided,
uses the default paths stipulated by
The arguments are as follows:
- Use all directories and files found below
- Specify an alternative configuration
- Display all files added or removed to the index. With a
second -D, also show all keywords added for
- Merge (remove and re-add) file
... to the database in dir.
- Do not create or modify any database; scan and parse only,
and print manual page names and descriptions to standard output.
- Print warnings about potential problems with manual pages
to the standard error output.
- Quickly build reduced-size databases by reading only the
NAME sections of manuals. The resulting databases will usually contain
names and descriptions only.
- Use UTF-8 encoding instead of ASCII for strings stored in
- Check the given files for
potential problems. Implies -a,
-n, and -p. All
diagnostic messages are printed to the standard output; the standard error
output is not used.
- Remove file ... from the
database in dir. If that causes the
database to become empty, also delete the database file.
If fatal parse errors are encountered while parsing, the offending file is
printed to stderr, omitted from the index, and the parse continues with the
next input file.
- A colon-separated list of directories to create databases
in. Ignored if a dir argument or the
-t option is specified.
- A database of manpages relative to the directory of the
file. This file is portable across architectures and systems, so long as
the manpage hierarchy it indexes does not change.
- The default
man(1) configuration file.
utility exits with one of the
- No errors occurred.
- Invalid command line arguments were specified. No input
files have been read.
- An operating system error occurred, for example memory
exhaustion or an error accessing input files. Such errors cause
makewhatis to exit at once, possibly in the
middle of parsing or formatting a file. The output databases are corrupt
and should be removed.
utility first appeared in
. It was rewritten in
and in C for OpenBSD
argument first appeared in
; the options
in OpenBSD 2.7
in OpenBSD 3.4
and the options -aCDnQT
wrote the original
February 1979, Marc Espie
started the Perl
version in 2000, and the current version of
was written by
and Ingo Schwarze