compgen -c | sort -b | uniq | less

Shows also functions and keywords (luckily no aliases), I instead want all that are not keywords, functions or aliases. In few words only the commands.

If command name match with function name, keyword name or alias name; the command name must not be omitted.

  • Please read this first. For example compgen -a to return aliases – Raffa Mar 2 at 12:24
  • compgen -c instead shown also functions and keywords – Mario Palumbo Mar 2 at 13:07

For compgen (and I think for Linux in general), a command is everything that you can run including alias' and functions, etc.

If you want to get only executable files/scripts in any of your $PATH directories, there is no good way using compgen.

You could use comm to show all commands excluding aliases, keywords and functions:

comm -23 \
  <(compgen -c | sort -u) \
  <(compgen -akA function | sort -u)

However, this will also remove commands that are both alias/function and command (e.g. ls or grep have an alias per default in Ubuntu, as well as anything you added yourself).

So, I think you're better off getting all executables from $PATH with your own script (and if you wish you can add builtins using compgen -b):

  printf '%s' "$PATH" \
  | xargs -d: -I{} -- find -L {} -maxdepth 1 -executable -type f -printf '%P\n' 2>/dev/null

sort -u <(path_filenames) <(compgen -b)
  • I have declared a function named sudo and another named apt. With this method, commands that are also functions are omitted. – Mario Palumbo Mar 2 at 15:00
  • True, also things like ls won't show because they also have an alias in Ubuntu. See the alternative, that should work better for you – pLumo Mar 2 at 15:27
  • Yes. This is a perfect approach, not for exclusion but for inclusion. I have found a simile answers that I not have understand. echo -n $PATH | xargs -d : -I {} find {} -maxdepth 1 \ -executable -type f -printf '%P\n' – Mario Palumbo Mar 2 at 15:30
  • 1
    your solution misses the -L which is important, because many files in $PATH are actually symlinks. – pLumo Mar 2 at 15:33
  • 1
    with comm -2 it works also. – pLumo Mar 2 at 17:57

To print aliases, run:


To print functions, run:

declare -F


declare -f

To print commands ( excluding aliases, keywords and functions ), run:

compgen -c | \
grep -wv "$(alias | grep -oP '\w+(?=\=)')"| \
grep -wv "$(declare -F | awk '{print $3}')" | \
grep -wFv "$(compgen -k)"

  • grep -wv "$(alias | grep -oP '\w+(?=\=)')" will exclude aliases.
  • grep -wv "$(declare -F | awk '{print $3}')" will exclude functions.
  • grep -wFv "$(compgen -k)" will exclude keywords.
  • I want to show all commands and not functions, aliases or keywords. Sorry for bad explain. – Mario Palumbo Mar 2 at 14:07
  • @MarioPalumbo I updated the answer with that. – Raffa Mar 2 at 15:07
  • Aliases do not already appear in the default command compgen -c, the thing that unfortunately appears are the keywords, which have not been removed with your command. – Mario Palumbo Mar 2 at 15:14
  • @MarioPalumbo I updated the last command to exclude keywords as well. – Raffa Mar 2 at 15:33
  • 1
    I think this has the same problem as my first solution then, it removes commands that are also aliases (e.g. ls) or functions. – pLumo Mar 2 at 15:42

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