LKBEN11011: Howto know which command will execute a certain command on the command line


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LKB | Created: 02/04/2020 | Version: 0 | Language: EN | Rating: 0 | Outdated: False | Marked for deletion: False

Author: Wim Peeters - Keskon GmbH & Co. KG


Symptom

You want to know for sure which command will execute exactly

Cause

This is very important for your scripts and can lead to confusing errors

Solution

You can use the which command to find out which executable will execute. which returns the pathnames of the files which would be executed in the current environment, had its arguments been  given  as  commands  in  a strictly  POSIX-conformant  shell.   It does this by searching the PATH for executable files matching the names of the arguments. e.g.

which man 

/usr/bin/man

Especially the command located in /usr/local/bin and /usr/local/sbin can be confusing.

If you need to know all possibilities and not only the command that will be executed you can use the -a parameter. e.g.

which -a man

/usr/bin/man
/usr/bin/X11/man
 

About the Author

Wim Peeters is electronics engineer with an additional master in IT and over 30 years of experience including time spent in support, development, consulting, training and database administration. Wim has worked with SQL Server since version 6.5. He has developed in C/C++, Java and C# on Windows and Linux in different European countries and different European languages. He writes knowledge base articles to solve IT problems and publishes them on the Lubby Knowledge Platform where he is one of the most important contributors and the main developer.

Disclaimer:

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