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In case of name collisions bash will try to call builtin command first. I made the following test. time sleep 100 & ps -ef | grep [t]est External command should create new process but you'll see that there was no result. This means that builtin command was called.


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From the GNU Bash Reference Manual: After a command has been split into words, if it results in a simple command and an optional list of arguments, the following actions are taken. If the command name contains no slashes, the shell attempts to locate it. If there exists a shell function by that name, that function is invoked as described in Shell ...



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