What Commands Do What?

Find out what a command does

At the command line, run:


This will give you a one-line summary of a command.

If whatis doesn't work, the whatis database may not be built yet. To build the whatis database, enter this:


I can't remember the name of the command I need

The apropos command searches a database of commands, using keywords:


Note that your keyword might not work. So try different keywords until it does!

If apropos does not work, you probably need to rebuild the whatis database with this command:


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