I just have installed CMAKE in my ubuntu machine.. So when I do whereis cmake, it gives me the actual path

username@phx7b02c-ee1b:~/CMAKE/cmake-2.8.11$ whereis cmake
cmake: /usr/bin/cmake

But whenever I try to get the version of cmake, I always get the below message.. I am not sure what wrong I am doing here?

username@phx7b02c-ee1b:~/CMAKE/cmake-2.8.11$ /usr/bin/cmake --version
-bash: /usr/bin/cmake: is a directory

Can anyone help me here?

1 Answer 1


Try the command type instead of whereis for locating executables.

$ type -a cmake
cmake is /usr/bin/cmake

$ /usr/bin/cmake --version
cmake version 2.8.4

The command whereis doesn't use your current environment, it looks in several locations that are typically used for executables, such as:

excerpt from whereis man page



  • While this is good, he specified the full path to the binary in his example, which could not be a function or alias.
    – jordanm
    Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 20:27
  • @jordanm - I want to see the output of type before we go any further with this. Something strange is up! I can think of several reasons that whereis would report as it did and mislead one to think the executable is /usr/bin/cmake when there is an actual directory there.
    – slm
    Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 20:31

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