[/donotprint] A binary is nothing but an executable from of a command such as ls or program such as Gimp. Use this command to find out:
The location of a binary file.
The location of source code.
The location of man page.
Find the binary, source code and man page for specified program or command.
The basic syntax is as follows:
whereis [options] program
whereis -BMS directory -f command
whereis command examples
To find out the location of the executable, source code and man page for the date command, type: $ whereis date Sample outputs:
How do I only search for binary files?
Pass the -b option as follows: $ whereis -b date
How do I only search for manual sections files?
Pass the -m option as follows: $ whereis -m date
How do I only search for source code files?
Pass the -s option as follows: $ whereis -s date
How do I only Search for unusual entries?
A file is said to be unusual if it does not have one entry of each requested type. Thus the following example, asks for those files in the current directory which have no documentation: $ whereis -m -u *
How can I limit the searches for binaries to specific directories?
You can pass the following option to limit limit the places where whereis searches for files:
-B /path/to/dir : Limit the places where whereis searches for binaries.
-M /path/to/dir : Limit the places where whereis searches for manual sections.
-S /path/to/dir : Limit the places where whereis searches for sources.
You must pass the -f option when any of the -B, -M, or -S options are used. The -f option terminate the last directory list and signals the start of file names. In this example, limit search for binary files in /bin/ directory only for ls and gcc commands: $ whereis -B /bin -f ls gcc Sample outputs:
ls: /bin/ls /usr/share/man/man1/ls.1.gz
There is no output for the gcc command since it is located in /usr/bin/ directory. To find all of the files in the /sbin/ directory that either are not documented in the /usr/man/man8 directory or do not have source in the /root/src directory, enter: # cd /sbin # whereis -u -M /usr/man/man8/ -S /root/src/ -f *
The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.