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Showing posts from August, 2012

What is "whatis" and "locate" databases in mac os x? How to Build or Rebuild them ?

On the Mac OS X, Terminal app users can use whatis and locate commands to improve their search experience in the terminal similar to Spotlight. 
whatis :           whatis command gives us the short description about the system commands. To display short description whatis uses its "whatis" database. whatis database is set of database files containing short descriptions of system commands which are commonly used in command line , such as in Terminal app. Mac OS X periodically updates the whatis database on a weekly bases if enabled in periodic.conf file. If whatis database is not built then we can build it with following command       $ sudo /usr/libexec/makewhatis
      or 
sudo periodic weekly
When we run the whatis command, the output will be as :
      $ whatis system_profiler       system_profiler(8)       - reports system hardware and software configuration
Locate :
The locate command provides help in finding or tracking  down every instance of a file, filetype, app, exte…