Linux commands: type

A quick guide to the `type` command, used to determine the _kind_ of a command

A command can be one of those 4 types:

  • an executable
  • a shell built-in program
  • a shell function
  • an alias

The type command can help figure out this, in case we want to know or we’re just curious. It will tell you how the command will be interpreted.

The output will depend on the shell used. This is Bash:

This is Zsh:

This is Fish:

One of the most interesting things here is that for aliases it will tell you what is aliasing to. You can see the ll alias, in the case of Bash and Zsh, but Fish provides it by default, so it will tell you it’s a built-in shell function.

The type command works on Linux, macOS, WSL, and anywhere you have a UNIX environment

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