type command in Linux with Examples

The type command is used to describe how its argument would be translated if used as commands. It is also used to find out whether it is built-in or external binary file.


type [Options] command names



  • -a : This option is used to find out whether it is an alias, keyword or a function and it also displays the path of an executable, if available.


    type -a pwd

  • -t : This option will display a single word as an output.
    • alias – if command is a shell alias
    • keyword – if command is a shell reserved word
    • builtin – if command is a shell builtin
    • function – if command is a shell function
    • file – if command is a disk file


    type -t pwd
    type -t cp
    type -t ls
    type -t while

  • -p : This option displays the name of the disk file which would be executed by the shell. It will return nothing if the command is not a disk file.


    type -p dash

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