Whatis command not working


I have Rocky Linux 8.7 on my workstation. To install it, I started from a minimal system and then added components (Base package group, X11, KDE, applications) as needed.

I just found out that my whatis command is not working properly:

$ whatis passwd
passwd: nothing appropriate.

Any idea what’s missing here ?

Wild guess is that the database has not been created yet. You might have to update it as per this:

index databases are used during the search,  and  are  updated  by  the
       mandb  program.   Depending  on your installation, this may be run by a
       periodic cron job, or may need to be  run  manually  after  new  manual
       pages  have  been installed.  To produce an old style text whatis data‐
       base from the relative index database, issue the command:

       whatis -M manpath -w '*' | sort > manpath/whatis

       where manpath is a manual page hierarchy such as /usr/man.

Another thought is maybe a minimal install does not include the man pages.

1 Like

OK, a simple sudo mandb did the job. I’m puzzled though that RHEL/Rocky doesn’t setup an automatic cronjob for this very basic task. Nearly all other distributions do that for you.