This is a weird one - it should work.

I have this file /home/foo/waldo.sh

#!/usr/bin/env bash


   if [[ -z $(command -v waldo) ]]; then
       npm install -g '@oresoftware/waldo' || {
         return 1;

   command waldo "$@"

export -f waldo;

if I source the file with:

. "/home/foo/waldo.sh";

and then run


I get:

No command 'waldo' found, did you mean:
 Command 'aldo' from package 'aldo' (universe)
waldo: command not found

when I run $(which waldo), it's empty, nothing there.

however, when I run type waldo, I get:

waldo is a function
waldo () 
    if [[ -z $(command -v waldo) ]]; then
        npm install -g '@oresoftware/waldo' || { 
            return 1
    command waldo "$@"

anyone know why it's not being sourced or whatever?

  • 1
    You're using command substitution too much. There's no need for $(command ...) or $(which ...). Use the exit status of the command you're calling instead of checking for output. E.G.: if ! command -v waldo >/dev/null; then ... – Patrick Jun 23 '18 at 22:57
  • 1
    I prefer type -a to which – glenn jackman Jun 24 '18 at 0:56
  • @glennjackman ah yes I forgot about type -a, why is it better than which tho? – Alexander Mills Jun 24 '18 at 5:35
  • In this case, I need a command that looks up to see what's in the PATH only, ignoring shell functions, that should be somewhat obvious from the question right. – Alexander Mills Jun 24 '18 at 5:36
  • I think type -f is what I am looking for, since that suppresses bash function results – Alexander Mills Jun 24 '18 at 5:40

The function is found and executed but it contains

command waldo

That's what the error message refers to.

You could handle this problem in the function:

if hash waldo >/dev/null 2>&1; then
    command waldo "$@"
    echo 'ERROR: ...'
  • ok thanks! then why did the if condition evaluate to false then? in other words, why didn't command -v waldo evaluate to empty string? – Alexander Mills Jun 23 '18 at 22:09
  • I see the update that should help, but I think in the if check to see if it's installed already, I need to use something other than command -v waldo ? – Alexander Mills Jun 23 '18 at 22:11
  • maybe which waldo instead? – Alexander Mills Jun 23 '18 at 22:11
  • @AlexanderMills Is the npm install executed (set -x)? Does it put a binary waldo in the PATH? – Hauke Laging Jun 23 '18 at 22:26
  • yeah it does put "waldo" in the $PATH – Alexander Mills Jun 23 '18 at 22:53

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