What Does “What Does” Mean in Unix? Exploring the Meaning and Importance

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Have you ever found yourself perplexed by the intricate world of Unix commands and terminologies? Fear not! Understanding the fundamentals of Unix is crucial for efficient navigation and troubleshooting. In this article, we will delve into the meaning and significance of the command “what does” in UnSo, let’s embark on this journey to demystify the intriguing realm of Unix!

What is Unix?

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s take a moment to understand what Unix actually is. Unix is an operating system that was developed in the 1970s and has since become the backbone of various computing systems. Its architecture and design principles have influenced the development of modern operating systems, making it a fundamental platform for many organizations.

Understanding Unix Terminology

To truly grasp the essence of Unix, one must familiarize themselves with its unique terminology. Unix commands, directories, and file structures all have their own distinct names and meanings. Acquainting yourself with these terms will empower you to navigate through Unix systems with ease and confidence, enabling you to accomplish tasks more efficiently.

Exploring the Meaning of “What Does” in Unix

to the “What Does” Command

One of the intriguing commands in Unix is the “what does” command. This command serves a specific purpose, allowing users to obtain detailed information about a given Unix command or utility. By using the “what does” command, users can gain insights into the functionality, usage, and options associated with a particular command.

How Does the “What Does” Command Work?

The “what does” command follows a simple syntax: what does [command]. When executed, it provides a comprehensive description of the specified command, including its purpose, syntax, available options, and examples of usage. This valuable information equips Unix users with the knowledge needed to make the most of each command, enhancing their productivity and effectiveness.

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Examples of Using the “What Does” Command in Unix

To better illustrate the utility of the “what does” command, let’s explore a couple of examples:

  1. What does “ls” mean in Unix?
    By executing what does ls, users can obtain detailed information about the ls command, which is used to list directory contents. The output of the command provides a clear explanation of its usage and available options, such as displaying hidden files or sorting the output.

  2. What does “grep” do in Unix?
    Executing what does grep reveals valuable insights into the powerful grep command, which is used for searching text patterns within files. The output of the “what does” command for grep explains its usage, regular expression support, and various options for refining the search.

By leveraging the “what does” command, Unix users can harness the full potential of each command, making their interactions with the system more efficient and productive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions related to Unix commands and their meanings:

Q1: Why is it important to understand Unix commands?

Understanding Unix commands is crucial for efficient navigation and troubleshooting within Unix systems. Familiarity with these commands allows users to perform tasks quickly and accurately, enabling them to make the most of the Unix operating system.

Q2: Are Unix commands consistent across different distributions?

While the core Unix commands remain consistent across distributions, there may be slight variations in options or additional commands specific to certain distributions. However, the fundamental concepts and functionalities are largely the same.

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Q3: How can I find more information about a specific Unix command?

In addition to using the “what does” command, Unix users can refer to the man pages (man [command]) to access comprehensive documentation about each command. These pages provide in-depth explanations, usage examples, and additional resources.


In conclusion, grasping the meaning and significance of the “what does” command in Unix is a valuable asset for any Unix user. By utilizing this command, users can obtain detailed information about various Unix commands, enabling them to navigate the system with confidence and efficiency. Understanding Unix commands and terminologies is essential for enhancing productivity and troubleshooting capabilities. So, embrace the power of Unix, explore its commands, and unlock new possibilities in the world of computing. Happy Unix-ing!

Note: This article is intended to provide general information and should not be considered as professional advice. Always refer to official documentation and consult experts for specific guidance.

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