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When I want to know if a command is a link or not, I do like following.

$ which locate
$ ls -l /usr/bin/locate
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 24  5月  3  2012 /usr/bin/locate -> /etc/alternatives/locate

Is is possible to write by using pipe one line? I tried which locate | ls -l. But it doesn't work.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use xargs to forward the results of one command to another...

which locate | xargs ls -al

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Thanks! I thought xargs is used only when argument is too long. – ironsand Jul 14 '13 at 2:53
Sure! It's got many handy uses. You're only forwarding one argument to it at a time here, but you can control how multiple arguments are passed to the target command. By default multiple arguments would be interpreted as "ls -al arg1 arg2 arg3" but adding the flag -n1 limits it to one argument resulting in "ls -al arg1; ls -al arg2;..." Use the -t flag to experiment and see the output of the commands xargs generates. – Bill Heller Jul 14 '13 at 3:11
Thanks for your information! – ironsand Jul 15 '13 at 4:21

You can also do

ls -l `which locate`

Also, (at least on linux), take a look at:

namei `which locate`
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I didn't know namei command. Thanks! – ironsand Jul 14 '13 at 2:53

readlink will print the link target, or nothing (and return false) if its subject isn't a link.

which locate | xargs readlink
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I always used ls -l to find link source. Thanks for your info! – ironsand Jul 14 '13 at 2:54

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