Find if a command is there with the type builtin command in Linux
The linux type command is one of many commands that are built into bash itself, this built in command can be used to find the type of a given command name. When working in the command line interface of a terminal there are a number of differet types of commands. Some commands are actaul files in the form of binaries, or scripts that can be run with another command declared with a shebang. Other commands are not files but functions declared in the body of a bash script. There are a number of commands built into bash itself, inclduing as I have mentioned the type command itself. In bash there are also a number of keywords that are reserved. Also there might be a number of commands that are not even any of these, but an aliaes for a command that may have been set in a bashrc file.
So the type built in command can be used as a way to find out what the type is of a command. In the event that it is an actaul file it can be used as a way to find out where that files is. In addition the type command is also usful to find out of a command is taken or not at all which is usful when it comes to coming up with a name for a command. The type command might not be the end all way to do so, but maybe it is a good start as far as everything that is installed on a system in which the command is used to say the least.
1 - Basic example of the type builtin command
First off a basic type built in example where I am just passing the name of a command as the one and only positional argument. When doing so the type built will tell me what kind of type the command is of found. In the even that I give a command name that is not found then the command will end with a non zero exit status code.
2 - The t option
The t option of the type command will return a string value of the type of the command or nothing in the event that the command is not found. The possible values for a command type are function, keyword, builtin, file, and alias. In this section I will be going over some examples of the -t option of the type built in that will be bash script examples.
If you have no experence on writing bash scripts then general process is to just have commands in a file and then call that fine with bash, or make the file exacutabule with the chmod command. I will not be getting into bash scripts in detail here, but the first example should still be simple enough to get started with.
2.1 - Basic t option example
First off just a basic example of the t option where I am giving a command name I know is not there, and another that is a basic command that is a another bash built in. So I made a bash script file with a text editor and called it basic.sh. In this basic.sh file I start off with the bash shebang as I would for any script that I want to make exacutabule.
I then just call the type command with the t option and then the name of a command, but I do so in string form, and then pass that string as an argument tio the bash command with the -c and -i bash command options.
2.2 - All type values
Now for a bash script example that will result in string values for all the types. This script contains a function the name of which I pass as an argument to type that will result in the exspected string value wich is function. I then pass a bunch of keywords in bash such as if, case, and while which are used to create bash scripts such as this kind which results in the exspected keyword value.
I then pass a bunch of names for bash built in commands inclduing type itself, all of which result in the exspected builtin string value. When I give a name for any command that I know is a file that has a location in the bin or sbin folders for example that results in the file string value.
On my system I have an ll alias that is a shorthand for ls -l defined in my bashrc file that results in the alias value.
2.3 - Using redirection and echo to get a 0 or 1 value if a command is there or not
It is possible to use redirection to redirect the output of a command for bolth the standard output and standard error to dev null. This is basicly just a fancy way to throw away any output from the result of a command such as the type command where I am testing if a command is there or not. I can then just echo the result of the special bash variable $? that will store the exit code of the last command. In the event that the command is there that will result in an exit code of 0, otherwise the exit code will be 1.
So something like this can be used as a way to test if a command is on the system or not.
3 - Conclusion
The type built in command is usful for finding out if a command name is being used on the system or not. It is also a good way to fine out if a given command name is indeed an actual command as a file in one of the os folders like the bin folder, or something else. There are many other bash built in commands such as cd, pwd, and many others that new Linux users should be aware of.
Learning the bash command in detail is a good starting point for getting a sold grasp on how to work with a linux system. There is not just all the usful built in commands, there is also all the options, keywords, forms of paramter expansaion, special variables, and so forth that can be used to create bash scripts.