On Unix I can call certain programs from everywhere, like sort, pwd or my_custom_script.sh.

How can I find out, where on the system my_custom_script.sh really resides?


I would recommend using type command. which command only look in the PATH so can be misleading for builtins (like pwd), functions and aliases.

  • which actually also lists aliases. – Daniel Beck May 20 '11 at 10:40
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    I'm afraid it can't. which isn't a shell builtin so has no idea about internal commands/aliases and the like. – jlliagre May 20 '11 at 11:38
  • On my Linux box, "which" is unexpectedly aliased. Sorry about that. – Daniel Beck May 20 '11 at 12:38

Use which

which sort

Gives you (for example):


This also helps you to troubleshoot issues with your PATH, e.g. if you have several versions of the same binary installed and you don't know which one is called.

So if you have multiple versions, you can use the -a switch:

charon:~ werner$ which -a ruby
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    which will work for my_custom_script.sh but will give misleading information about pwd and similar commands. – jlliagre May 20 '11 at 11:53

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