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Linux Pocket Guide, 2nd Edition by Daniel J. Barrett

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The Shell Versus Programs

When you run a command, it might invoke a Linux program (like who), or instead it might be a built-in command, a feature of the shell itself. You can tell the difference with the type command:

$ type who
who is /usr/bin/who
$ type cd
cd is a shell builtin

It is helpful to know what the shell provides versus what Linux does. The next few sections describe features of the shell.

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