whereis - locate the binary, source, and manual page files for a command
[options] [-BMS directory
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
The search restrictions (options -b
cumulative and apply to the subsequent name
patterns on the command
line. Any new search restriction resets the search mask. For example,
searches for "ls" and "tr" binaries and man pages, and for
"gcc" man pages only.
The options -B
reset search paths for the
patterns. For example,
whereis -m ls -M /usr/share/man/man1 -f cal
searches for "ls" man pages in all default paths, but for
"cal" in the /usr/share/man/man1 directory only.
- Search for binaries.
- Search for manuals.
- Search for sources.
- Only show the command names that have unusual entries. A
command is said to be unusual if it does not have just one entry of each
explicitly requested type. Thus 'whereis -m -u *' asks for those
files in the current directory which have no documentation file, or more
- -B list
- Limit the places where whereis searches for
binaries, by a whitespace-separated list of directories.
- -M list
- Limit the places where whereis searches for manuals
and documentation in Info format, by a whitespace-separated list of
- -S list
- Limit the places where whereis searches for sources,
by a whitespace-separated list of directories.
- Terminates the directory list and signals the start of
filenames. It must be used when any of the -B, -M, or
-S options is used.
- Output the list of effective lookup paths that
whereis is using. When none of -B, -M, or -S
is specified, the option will output the hard-coded paths that the command
was able to find on the system.
To find all files in /usr/bin
which are not documented in
or have no source in /usr/src
- cd /usr/bin
whereis -u -ms -M /usr/man/man1 -S /usr/src -f *
FILE SEARCH PATHS¶
By default whereis
tries to find files from hard-coded paths, which are
defined with glob patterns. The command attempts to use the contents of
environment variables as default search path.
The easiest way to know what paths are in use is to add the -l
option. Effects of the -B
, and -S
are displayed with
- enables debug output.
The whereis command is part of the util-linux package and is available from