Today on HakTip I will be checking out some Linux Terminal like type, which, and apropos.

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We have recently covered how to get around in the Linux Terminal filename specifications, how to view history, and file shortcuts.

Today we will be looking at how to find out what kind of command are in the linux terminal by using "type". For instance "type ls" shows me ls is an aliased command. The "which" command will show us where these commands exist on the system, but the which command does not work on built in system commands.

You can find out more info about it with the help command, by inputting a "--help"

There's a program called 'man' that will show you a manual or a 'man page'. You can also search in the man page by looking in specific section by using man command with a section option then term you are looking to find. I am linking to a site that has a good list of the man page organization in the shownotes here.

It is all so possible to search the man pages with the command apropos; Typing "apropos floppy" to get a search of everything that has the word floppy in it.

For a quick look at what a command does, you can type "whatis 'command'". If I type "whatis ls" it'll give me a short and sweet description of ls.

How did you learn the terminal? Got a favorite book, website, or did you learn it all on your own? Tell me about it in the comments or email me at And be sure to check out our sister show, Hak5 for more great stuff just like this. I'll be there, reminding you to trust your technolust.

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  • Dustin 2 years ago

    I have no idea how to pronunce a number of the tools that I use, but when it’s an actual word…

    adjective: very appropriate to a particular situation

    ! /?-pr?-p?s/

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