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What are the reasons why commands like whereis or which do not show me location of command? E.g. I have nvm and want to know where is it located, but none of these command help me to find the binary. Should I use only find in this case?

UPDATE

Here is long output of type nvm

$ type nvm
nvm is a function
nvm ()
{
    if [ $# -lt 1 ]; then
        nvm help;
        return;
    fi;
    local uname="$(uname -a)";
    local os=;
    local arch="$(uname -m)";
    case "$uname" in
        Linux\ *)
            os=linux
        ;;
        Darwin\ *)
            os=darwin
        ;;
        SunOS\ *)
            os=sunos
        ;;
        FreeBSD\ *)
            os=freebsd
        ;;
    esac;
    case "$uname" in
        *x86_64*)
            arch=x64
        ;;
        *i*86*)
            arch=x86
        ;;
        *armv6l*)
            arch=arm-pi
        ;;
    esac;
    local VERSION;
    local ADDITIONAL_PARAMETERS;
    case $1 in
        "help")
            echo;
            echo "Node Version Manager";
            echo;
            echo "Usage:";
            echo "    nvm help                    Show this message";
            echo "    nvm install [-s] <version>  Download and install a <version>, [-s] from source";
            echo "    nvm uninstall <version>     Uninstall a version";
            echo "    nvm use <version>           Modify PATH to use <version>";
            echo "    nvm run <version> [<args>]  Run <version> with <args> as arguments";
            echo "    nvm current                 Display currently activated version";
            echo "    nvm ls                      List installed versions";
            echo "    nvm ls <version>            List versions matching a given description";
            echo "    nvm ls-remote               List remote versions available for install";
            echo "    nvm deactivate              Undo effects of NVM on current shell";
            echo "    nvm alias [<pattern>]       Show all aliases beginning with <pattern>";
            echo "    nvm alias <name> <version>  Set an alias named <name> pointing to <version>";
            echo "    nvm unalias <name>          Deletes the alias named <name>";
            echo "    nvm copy-packages <version> Install global NPM packages contained in <version> to current version";
            echo;
            echo "Example:";
            echo "    nvm install v0.10.24        Install a specific version number";
            echo "    nvm use 0.10                Use the latest available 0.10.x release";
            echo "    nvm run 0.10.24 myApp.js    Run myApp.js using node v0.10.24";
            echo "    nvm alias default 0.10.24   Set default node version on a shell";
            echo;
            echo "Note:";
            echo "    to remove, delete or uninstall nvm - just remove ~/.nvm, ~/.npm and ~/.bower folders";
            echo
        ;;
        "install")
            local binavail;
            local t;
            local url;
            local sum;
            local tarball;
            local shasum='shasum';
            local nobinary;
            if ! has "curl"; then
                echo 'NVM Needs curl to proceed.' 1>&2;
            fi;
            if ! has "shasum"; then
                shasum='sha1sum';
            fi;
            if [ $# -lt 2 ]; then
                nvm help;
                return;
            fi;
            shift;
            nobinary=0;
            if [ "$1" = "-s" ]; then
                nobinary=1;
                shift;
            fi;
            if [ "$os" = "freebsd" ]; then
                nobinary=1;
            fi;
            VERSION=`nvm_remote_version $1`;
            ADDITIONAL_PARAMETERS='';
            shift;
            while [ $# -ne 0 ]; do
                ADDITIONAL_PARAMETERS="$ADDITIONAL_PARAMETERS $1";
                shift;
            done;
            [ -d "$NVM_DIR/$VERSION" ] && echo "$VERSION is already installed." && return;
            if [ $nobinary -ne 1 ]; then
                if [ -n "$os" ]; then
                    binavail=;
                    case "$VERSION" in
                        v0.8.[012345])
                            binavail=0
                        ;;
                        v0.[1234567].*)
                            binavail=0
                        ;;
                        *)
                            binavail=1
                        ;;
                    esac;
                    if [ $binavail -eq 1 ]; then
                        t="$VERSION-$os-$arch";
                        url="http://nodejs.org/dist/$VERSION/node-${t}.tar.gz";
                        sum=`curl -s http://nodejs.org/dist/$VERSION/SHASUMS.txt | \grep node-${t}.tar.gz | awk '{print $1}'`;
                        local tmpdir="$NVM_DIR/bin/node-${t}";
                        local tmptarball="$tmpdir/node-${t}.tar.gz";
                        if ( mkdir -p "$tmpdir" && curl -L -C - --progress-bar $url -o "$tmptarball" && nvm_checksum `${shasum} "$tmptarball" | awk '{print $1}'` $sum && tar -xzf "$tmptarball" -C "$tmpdir" --strip-components 1 && rm -f "$tmptarball" && mv "$tmpdir" "$NVM_DIR/$VERSION" ); then
                            nvm use $VERSION;
                            return;
                        else
                            echo "Binary download failed, trying source." 1>&2;
                            rm -rf "$tmptarball" "$tmpdir";
                        fi;
                    fi;
                fi;
            fi;
            echo "Additional options while compiling: $ADDITIONAL_PARAMETERS";
            tarball='';
            sum='';
            make='make';
            if [ "$os" = "freebsd" ]; then
                make='gmake';
            fi;
            local tmpdir="$NVM_DIR/src";
            local tmptarball="$tmpdir/node-$VERSION.tar.gz";
            if [ "`curl -Is "http://nodejs.org/dist/$VERSION/node-$VERSION.tar.gz" | \grep '200 OK'`" != '' ]; then
                tarball="http://nodejs.org/dist/$VERSION/node-$VERSION.tar.gz";
                sum=`curl -s http://nodejs.org/dist/$VERSION/SHASUMS.txt | \grep node-$VERSION.tar.gz | awk '{print $1}'`;
            else
                if [ "`curl -Is "http://nodejs.org/dist/node-$VERSION.tar.gz" | \grep '200 OK'`" != '' ]; then
                    tarball="http://nodejs.org/dist/node-$VERSION.tar.gz";
                fi;
            fi;
            if ( [ ! -z $tarball ] && mkdir -p "$tmpdir" && curl -L --progress-bar $tarball -o "$tmptarball" && if [ "$sum" = "" ]; then
                :;
            else
                nvm_checksum `${shasum} "$tmptarball" | awk '{print $1}'` $sum;
            fi && tar -xzf "$tmptarball" -C "$tmpdir" && cd "$tmpdir/node-$VERSION" && ./configure --prefix="$NVM_DIR/$VERSION" $ADDITIONAL_PARAMETERS && $make && rm -f "$NVM_DIR/$VERSION" 2> /dev/null && $make install ); then
                nvm use $VERSION;
                if ! has "npm"; then
                    echo "Installing npm...";
                    if [[ "`expr match $VERSION '\(^v0\.1\.\)'`" != '' ]]; then
                        echo "npm requires node v0.2.3 or higher";
                    else
                        if [[ "`expr match $VERSION '\(^v0\.2\.\)'`" != '' ]]; then
                            if [[ "`expr match $VERSION '\(^v0\.2\.[0-2]$\)'`" != '' ]]; then
                                echo "npm requires node v0.2.3 or higher";
                            else
                                curl https://npmjs.org/install.sh | clean=yes npm_install=0.2.19 sh;
                            fi;
                        else
                            curl https://npmjs.org/install.sh | clean=yes sh;
                        fi;
                    fi;
                fi;
            else
                echo "nvm: install $VERSION failed!";
                return 1;
            fi
        ;;
        "uninstall")
            [ $# -ne 2 ] && nvm help && return;
            if [[ $2 == `nvm_version` ]]; then
                echo "nvm: Cannot uninstall currently-active node version, $2.";
                return 1;
            fi;
            VERSION=`nvm_version $2`;
            if [ ! -d $NVM_DIR/$VERSION ]; then
                echo "$VERSION version is not installed...";
                return;
            fi;
            t="$VERSION-$os-$arch";
            rm -rf "$NVM_DIR/src/node-$VERSION" "$NVM_DIR/src/node-$VERSION.tar.gz" "$NVM_DIR/bin/node-${t}" "$NVM_DIR/bin/node-${t}.tar.gz" "$NVM_DIR/$VERSION" 2> /dev/null;
            echo "Uninstalled node $VERSION";
            for A in `\grep -l $VERSION $NVM_DIR/alias/* 2>/dev/null`;
            do
                nvm unalias `basename $A`;
            done
        ;;
        "deactivate")
            if [[ $PATH == *$NVM_DIR/*/bin* ]]; then
                export PATH=${PATH%$NVM_DIR/*/bin*}${PATH#*$NVM_DIR/*/bin:};
                hash -r;
                echo "$NVM_DIR/*/bin removed from \$PATH";
            else
                echo "Could not find $NVM_DIR/*/bin in \$PATH";
            fi;
            if [[ $MANPATH == *$NVM_DIR/*/share/man* ]]; then
                export MANPATH=${MANPATH%$NVM_DIR/*/share/man*}${MANPATH#*$NVM_DIR/*/share/man:};
                echo "$NVM_DIR/*/share/man removed from \$MANPATH";
            else
                echo "Could not find $NVM_DIR/*/share/man in \$MANPATH";
            fi;
            if [[ $NODE_PATH == *$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules* ]]; then
                export NODE_PATH=${NODE_PATH%$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules*}${NODE_PATH#*$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules:};
                echo "$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules removed from \$NODE_PATH";
            else
                echo "Could not find $NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules in \$NODE_PATH";
            fi
        ;;
        "use")
            if [ $# -eq 0 ]; then
                nvm help;
                return;
            fi;
            if [ $# -eq 1 ]; then
                rc_nvm_version;
                if [ ! -z $RC_VERSION ]; then
                    VERSION=`nvm_version $RC_VERSION`;
                fi;
            else
                VERSION=`nvm_version $2`;
            fi;
            if [ -z $VERSION ]; then
                nvm help;
                return;
            fi;
            if [ -z $VERSION ]; then
                VERSION=`nvm_version $2`;
            fi;
            if [ ! -d "$NVM_DIR/$VERSION" ]; then
                echo "$VERSION version is not installed yet";
                return 1;
            fi;
            if [[ $PATH == *$NVM_DIR/*/bin* ]]; then
                PATH=${PATH%$NVM_DIR/*/bin*}$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/bin${PATH#*$NVM_DIR/*/bin};
            else
                PATH="$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/bin:$PATH";
            fi;
            if [ -z "$MANPATH" ]; then
                MANPATH=$(manpath);
            fi;
            MANPATH=${MANPATH#*$NVM_DIR/*/man:};
            if [[ $MANPATH == *$NVM_DIR/*/share/man* ]]; then
                MANPATH=${MANPATH%$NVM_DIR/*/share/man*}$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/share/man${MANPATH#*$NVM_DIR/*/share/man};
            else
                MANPATH="$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/share/man:$MANPATH";
            fi;
            if [[ $NODE_PATH == *$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules* ]]; then
                NODE_PATH=${NODE_PATH%$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules*}$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/lib/node_modules${NODE_PATH#*$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules};
            else
                NODE_PATH="$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/lib/node_modules:$NODE_PATH";
            fi;
            export PATH;
            hash -r;
            export MANPATH;
            export NODE_PATH;
            export NVM_PATH="$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/lib/node";
            export NVM_BIN="$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/bin";
            echo "Now using node $VERSION"
        ;;
        "run")
            if [ $# -lt 2 ]; then
                nvm help;
                return;
            fi;
            VERSION=`nvm_version $2`;
            if [ ! -d $NVM_DIR/$VERSION ]; then
                echo "$VERSION version is not installed yet";
                return;
            fi;
            if [[ $NODE_PATH == *$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules* ]]; then
                RUN_NODE_PATH=${NODE_PATH%$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules*}$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/lib/node_modules${NODE_PATH#*$NVM_DIR/*/lib/node_modules};
            else
                RUN_NODE_PATH="$NVM_DIR/$VERSION/lib/node_modules:$NODE_PATH";
            fi;
            echo "Running node $VERSION";
            NODE_PATH=$RUN_NODE_PATH $NVM_DIR/$VERSION/bin/node "${@:3}"
        ;;
        "ls" | "list")
            print_versions "`nvm_ls $2`";
            if [ $# -eq 1 ]; then
                echo -ne "current: \t";
                nvm_version current;
                nvm alias;
            fi;
            return
        ;;
        "ls-remote" | "list-remote")
            print_versions "`nvm_ls_remote $2`";
            return
        ;;
        "current")
            echo -ne "current: \t";
            nvm_version current
        ;;
        "alias")
            mkdir -p $NVM_DIR/alias;
            if [ $# -le 2 ]; then
                for ALIAS in $(nvm_set_nullglob; echo $NVM_DIR/alias/$2* );
                do
                    DEST=`cat $ALIAS`;
                    VERSION=`nvm_version $DEST`;
                    if [ "$DEST" = "$VERSION" ]; then
                        echo "$(basename $ALIAS) -> $DEST";
                    else
                        echo "$(basename $ALIAS) -> $DEST (-> $VERSION)";
                    fi;
                done;
                return;
            fi;
            if [ ! "$3" ]; then
                rm -f $NVM_DIR/alias/$2;
                echo "$2 -> *poof*";
                return;
            fi;
            mkdir -p $NVM_DIR/alias;
            VERSION=`nvm_version $3`;
            if [ $? -ne 0 ]; then
                echo "! WARNING: Version '$3' does not exist." 1>&2;
            fi;
            echo $3 > "$NVM_DIR/alias/$2";
            if [ ! "$3" = "$VERSION" ]; then
                echo "$2 -> $3 (-> $VERSION)";
            else
                echo "$2 -> $3";
            fi
        ;;
        "unalias")
            mkdir -p $NVM_DIR/alias;
            [ $# -ne 2 ] && nvm help && return;
            [ ! -f $NVM_DIR/alias/$2 ] && echo "Alias $2 doesn't exist!" && return;
            rm -f $NVM_DIR/alias/$2;
            echo "Deleted alias $2"
        ;;
        "copy-packages")
            if [ $# -ne 2 ]; then
                nvm help;
                return;
            fi;
            local VERSION=`nvm_version $2`;
            local ROOT=`(nvm use $VERSION && npm -g root) | tail -n1`;
            local ROOTDEPTH=$((`echo $ROOT | sed 's/[^\/]//g'|wc -m` -1));
            local INSTALLS;
            INSTALLS=(`nvm use $VERSION > /dev/null && npm -g -p ll | \grep "$ROOT\/[^/]\+$" | cut -d '/' -f $(($ROOTDEPTH + 2)) | cut -d ":" -f 2 | \grep -v npm | tr "\n" " "`);
            npm install -g ${INSTALLS[@]}
        ;;
        "clear-cache")
            rm -f $NVM_DIR/v* 2> /dev/null;
            echo "Cache cleared."
        ;;
        "version")
            print_versions "`nvm_version $2`"
        ;;
        *)
            nvm help
        ;;
    esac
}
share|improve this question
    
Use type stackoverflow.com/questions/592620/… –  BroSlow Jan 29 at 5:25
    
@BroSlow it types source of nvm. I don't need it. I want to know where it is located –  Vitalii Korsakov Jan 29 at 10:19
    
What? type does pretty much the same thing which does, except accesses more locations (aliases, functions, etc...), is faster, more portable, etc... –  BroSlow Jan 29 at 10:32
    
@BroSlow see update please –  Vitalii Korsakov Jan 29 at 12:08

3 Answers 3

The which utility only searches your existing path for files, so if you cannot type "nvm" and have it run nvm, then which will not locate it.

On the other hand, whereis searches a hardcoded list of paths for the program, its manual page, and its source directory. It is possible that whereis will find something if nvm is not in your path, but if nvm is not in the hardcoded list of paths whereis searches, it will similarly be unsuccessful.

As you imply, find is a much more flexible utility for searching any path you desire for any type of file you can specify. If there is an nvm executable anywhere on your system, find can be used to hunt it down, regardless of it being in your system path.

A fourth option to look into would be the locate command, which uses an indexed database of files on your system to quickly find a file anywhere on your system, with a similarly simple invocation to which or whereis, e.g. locate nvm

share|improve this answer

If your nvm command is actually an alias or a shell function, which will identify it only if you use an appropriate option (e.g., --read-alias or --read-functions; see which(1)), and whereis will be completely useless.

share|improve this answer

whereis and which only search specific locations.

man whereis:

The whereis utility checks the standard binary directories for the specified programs, printing out the paths of any it finds.

man which:

The which utility takes a list of command names and searches the path for each executable file that would be run had these commands actually been invoked.

Path refers to the PATH environment variable. (Read more about it)

So these utilities will only find programs that are in one of the default locations (e.g. /bin, /usr/local/bin etc.) and could be launched by just typing the command name.

If you installed npm somewhere else, e.g. /home/username/bin/npm, and that directory is not in your PATH, it won't be found this way. You'll need to use e.g. find.

share|improve this answer
    
I believe that nvm in the PATH since I can access this command from any directory –  Vitalii Korsakov Jan 29 at 10:16

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