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Linux / UNIX: Determine where a binary command is stored / located on file system

You can use "type" or "whereis" command to find out which command shell executes and to print binary (command) file location for specified command.

whereis command example

Display ls command location along with man page path:
whereis ls
Output:
ls: /bin/ls /usr/share/man/man1p/ls.1p.gz /usr/share/man/man1/ls.1.gz

type command example

Find out which command the shell executes:
type -a ls
Output:
ls is aliased to `ls --color=tty'
ls is /bin/ls

Related: How Linux or UNIX Understand which program to run - PART I and How BASH Shell Command Search Sequence Works

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Corey Hart August 29, 2007, 8:06 pm

    If for some reason the command you are looking for is not in your PATH you can try the locate command to find out where it might be located

    % locate ls

  • Kunal October 27, 2007, 2:16 pm

    i access my server through sshd using putty but after a certain period of time the port on which sshd is open is closed automatically.
    i am not able to figure out this problem.
    please help me thanks in advance

  • Pramoth June 24, 2009, 12:12 pm

    How to know the virsion of a binary file in UNIX?
    Need unix command for the same.

    • Tolli March 2, 2013, 8:56 pm

      Typically programs have a version command line option to print the version number. Try running ‘program -v’ or ‘program –version’. Some binary files on your system are actually a link to a specific version of that program. For example, on my system, /usr/bin/python is a link to python-2.7, so I know that I have python version 2.7. (to see if a file is a link run ‘ls -l /path/to/file’ and it will have a ‘l’ at the beginging of the line, and have an arrow at the end followed by the file that the link points to).