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TYPE(1P) POSIX Programmer's Manual TYPE(1P)

This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.

type — write a description of command type

type  name...

The type utility shall indicate how each argument would be interpreted if used as a command name.


The following operand shall be supported:
A name to be interpreted.

Not used.


The following environment variables shall affect the execution of type:
Provide a default value for the internationalization variables that are unset or null. (See the Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 8.2, Internationalization Variables for the precedence of internationalization variables used to determine the values of locale categories.)
If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of all the other internationalization variables.
Determine the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to multi-byte characters in arguments).
Determine the locale that should be used to affect the format and contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error.
Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing of LC_MESSAGES.
Determine the location of name, as described in the Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Chapter 8, Environment Variables.


The standard output of type contains information about each operand in an unspecified format. The information provided typically identifies the operand as a shell built-in, function, alias, or keyword, and where applicable, may display the operand's pathname.

The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.



The following exit values shall be returned:
Successful completion.
An error occurred.

The following sections are informative.

Since type must be aware of the contents of the current shell execution environment (such as the lists of commands, functions, and built-ins processed by hash), it is always provided as a shell regular built-in. If it is called in a separate utility execution environment, such as one of the following:

nohup type writer
find . −type f | xargs type
it might not produce accurate results.




command, hash
The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Chapter 8, Environment Variables

Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. (This is POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online at .
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2013 IEEE/The Open Group