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MAKEWHATIS(8)		  BSD System Manager's Manual		 MAKEWHATIS(8)

     makewhatis	-- index UNIX manuals

     makewhatis	[-aDnpQ] [-T utf8] [-C file]
     makewhatis	[-aDnpQ] [-T utf8] dir ...
     makewhatis	[-DnpQ]	[-T utf8] -d dir [file ...]
     makewhatis	[-Dnp] [-T utf8] -u dir	[file ...]
     makewhatis	[-DQ] -t file ...

     The makewhatis utility extracts keywords from UNIX	manuals	and indexes
     them in a database	for fast retrieval by apropos(1), whatis(1), and
     man(1)'s -k option.

     By	default, makewhatis creates a database in each dir using the files
     mansection/[arch/]title.section and catsection/[arch/]title.0 in that di-
     rectory.  Existing	databases are replaced.	 If a directory	contains no
     manual pages, no database is created in that directory.  If dir is	not
     provided, makewhatis uses the default paths stipulated by man.conf(5).

     The arguments are as follows:

     -a	      Use all directories and files found below	dir ....

     -C	file  Specify an alternative configuration file	in man.conf(5) format.

     -D	      Display all files	added or removed to the	index.	With a second
	      -D, also show all	keywords added for each	file.

     -d	dir   Merge (remove and	re-add)	file ... to the	database in dir.

     -n	      Do not create or modify any database; scan and parse only, and
	      print manual page	names and descriptions to standard output.

     -p	      Print warnings about potential problems with manual pages	to the
	      standard error output.

     -Q	      Quickly build reduced-size databases by reading only the NAME
	      sections of manuals.  The	resulting databases will usually con-
	      tain names and descriptions only.

     -T	utf8  Use UTF-8	encoding instead of ASCII for strings stored in	the

     -t	file ...
	      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.

     -u	dir   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.

     MANPATH  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.

     The makewhatis utility exits with one of the following values:

     0	     No	errors occurred.
     5	     Invalid command line arguments were specified.  No	input files
	     have been read.
     6	     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.

     apropos(1), man(1), whatis(1), man.conf(5)

     A makewhatis utility first	appeared in 2BSD.  It was rewritten in perl(1)
     for OpenBSD 2.7 and in C for OpenBSD 5.6.

     The dir argument first appeared in	NetBSD 1.0; the	options	-dpt in
     OpenBSD 2.7; the option -u	in OpenBSD 3.4;	and the	options	-aCDnQT	in
     OpenBSD 5.6.

     Bill Joy wrote the	original BSD makewhatis	in February 1979, Marc Espie
     started the Perl version in 2000, and the current version of makewhatis
     was written by Kristaps Dzonsons <>	and Ingo Schwarze

BSD				 May 17, 2017				   BSD


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