Show Shell Function in Ubuntu Terminal

Over the years I’ve moved away from using aliases to defining functions in a .functions file that I source at the time of launching the shell. This works fine, but one feature of alias that I miss is being able to see what a particular function does.


  • Alias:

    alias tailnet='journalctl -f -u NetworkManager'
  • Function:

    tailnet() {
      # Continuous tailing of the network log
      journalctl -f -u NetworkManager

In order to see what the alias tailnet does, I can just type alias tailnet and the definition of the alias will be shown. Is there something similar for functions or do I have to open the file where the function is defined?

Asked By: Tex


Use declare:

declare -pf tailnet
  • -p tells declare to print the definitions;
  • -f tells declare tailnet is a function.
Answered By: choroba

You can do both (and maybe more) at once with type -a like so:

$ type -a tailnet
tailnet is aliased to `journalctl -f -u NetworkManager'
tailnet is a function
tailnet () 
    journalctl -f -u NetworkManager
Answered By: Raffa
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