what(1) User Commands what(1)

what - extract SCCS version information from a file


The what utility searches each filename for occurrences of the pattern @(#) that the SCCS get command (see sccs-get(1)) substitutes for the %Z% ID keyword, and prints what follows up to a ", >, NEWLINE, \, or NULL character.

The following option is supported:

Stops after the first occurrence of the pattern.

Prints the what version number string and exists.

This option is a SCHILY extension that does not exist in historic sccs implementations.

Example 1 Extracting SCCS version information

If a C program in file program.c contains

char sccsid[] = "@(#)identification information";

and program.c is compiled to yield program.o and a.out, the command:

what program.c program.o a.out


identification information

identification information

identification information

See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of what: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.

The following exit values are returned:

Any matches were found.
No matches found.

See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Availability SUNWsprot
Interface Stability Standard

sccs(1), sccs-admin(1), sccs-cdc(1), sccs-comb(1), sccs-cvt(1), sccs-delta(1), sccs-get(1), sccs-help(1), sccs-log(1), sccs-prs(1), sccs-prt(1), sccs-rmdel(1), sccs-sact(1), sccs-sccsdiff(1), sccs-unget(1), sccs-val(1), sccschangeset(4), sccsfile(4), attributes(5), environ(5), standards(5).

Use the SCCS help command for explanations (see sccs-help(1)).

There is a remote possibility that a spurious occurrence of the `@(#)' pattern could be found by what.

The SCCS suite was originally written by Marc J. Rochkind at Bell Labs in 1972. Release 4.0 of SCCS, introducing new versions of the programs admin(1), get(1), prt(1), and delta(1) was published on February 18, 1977; it introduced the new text based SCCS v4 history file format (previous SCCS releases used a binary history file format). The SCCS suite was later maintained by various people at AT&T and Sun Microsystems. Since 2006, the SCCS suite is maintained by Joerg Schilling.

A frequently updated source code for the SCCS suite is included in the schilytools project and may be retrieved from the schilytools project at Sourceforge at:


The download directory is:


Check for the schily-*.tar.bz2 archives.

Less frequently updated source code for the SCCS suite is at:


Separate project informations for the SCCS project may be retrieved from:


2018/12/18 SunOS 5.11