linux question
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  1. #1
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    linux question

    As well as being a newbie to the security world i am a newbie to linux.which from what i read in a way go hand in hand.i know there is a "who is" command for linux but what about a "what is" i was told in a bbs that there is a what is command, but in my research i found no such command. so my question is, is there a command called "what is" and if so what things can be done with it and how do i use it? or was this person just trying to sound like a experianced user when he was no more then a newbie like myself? thanks for all replies.

  2. #2
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    I've personally never heard of a whatis command, and I looked for it online and yielded nothing of any interest.

    By the way, the whois command is not only applicable on a Unix/linux OS. You can do it from any other OS practically, as well.

  3. #3
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    By the way, the whois command is not only applicable on a Unix/linux OS. You can do it from any other OS practically, as well.
    Sorry to "piggyback" this thread, but I think this is relevant.

    Jehnny: I know you can do this in most *nix OS's, but I have never heard of this for other OS's. I have tried it on my Win9x, Win2k and WinXP Pro boxes and didn't come up with anything. Is this an "add on"? Or do they not make something like this for M$?

    Up until now, the only way I could verify someone was logged onto the network was to look in the server security logs. Or, you can look on the server to see who has what files open.

    If netbios is enabled, you can do a: nbtstat -a machinename (to find out who is logged on too.)

    I know of another way to determine which person is logged onto which system.

    If you do a: nbtstat -R (to clear the netbios cache.)

    Then use: net send user message

    then you can use: nbtstat -c (to find out which machine that user recieved the net send on.)

    This works even if the workstation has the messanger service stopped/disabled.

    What are the other ways that you speak of?

    Thanks in advance!
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  4. #4
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    phishphreek i couldnt have asked the question better, saved me alot of typing
    Don\'t be a bitch! Use Slackware.

  5. #5
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    Whatis is a valid command. What it does is quite simple......
    'whatis' is a command so you can find out what a program does. If you explore your Linux system, you will find a lot of programs and you may not know what they do. You would simply type: whatis grep for example, and you would get this:

    grep (1) - print lines matching a pattern

    Linux is good, but it's not all-knowing, so if you type: whatis cranapple juice You will get this message:

    cranapple: nothing appropriate.
    juice: nothing appropriate.

    basically telling you that Linux has no idea what cranapple juice is
    from here.... http://www.linux.org/lessons/page.cgi?PageID=158

    And remember GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A fairly simple google search for

    whatis command linux

    like this one...

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&i...+command+linux

    finds plenty of info on the subject.

    Merry Christmas or happy whatever your holiday of choice is.

    IchNiSan

  6. #6
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Nevermind... I found the answer to my own question...

    here is a freeware version for windows.

    There are several more. Here are my search results on google.com

    Thanks anyway!

    But, if you know of another way to find out who is logged onto the network, I'm still interested.

    But... the whois I can find for windows does not tell you who is logged onto the network... it shows you domain info. I think a better one than that is samspade.
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  7. #7
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    maybe your talking about: http://www.whatis.com ...?

    Nifty computer website. check it out.
    ...This Space For Rent.

    -[WebCarnage]

  8. #8
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    Just to interject, here, I don't believe whatis is a standard UNIX command. It might be standard for Linux, or a third-party application, but it's definitely not part of the precursor OS's. From the looks of it, too, it simply searches for specific lines in the man pages. Anyone could write a version of that in a simple shell script.

    Of course, I don't want to demean it's value. I'm sure it would be very handy for a new user to the OS, just like which, man, and info. Just don't expect to find it in every distribution.
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  9. #9
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    Roswell,

    whatis appears to simply be man -f

    Which prints out the description from the man page.

    As to the other part, about it not being standard, I do not know for sure, but.... a google for whatis in combination with 4 seperate (non linux)nixes (IRIX, AIX, Solaris, Free BSD) found specific entries in OS specific support docs. So, it does appear to be somewhat of a generally accepted tool.

    I'm not trying to troll here, but, it does indeed appear to be recognized on at least those four big ones. Maybe it is not a "legacy" tool, but lots of people seem to include it these days. It is without question not Linux only.

  10. #10
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    Hmm...interesting research, IchNiSan. Good work! I'll have to remember that for future reference.
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