This question appears to be an XY problem: Find out which command runs when I call a particular function from shell

Would it be ok to delete the whole question body and replace it with the title? Maybe add an extra sentence or two but none of the technical details that currently speculate on how the problem can be solved.

Then VTR (Vote To Reopen).


1 Answer 1



OP has commented to explain exactly what they wanted and I have edited accordingly and voted to reopen.

Previous answer referring to revision 3 of the post:

You have written an answer to this question (which I upvoted) and the OP has commented on your answer indicating, I think, that your answer contained what they were looking for. Apparently, the question was answerable, so, somehow, it should be possible to reopen it.

However, I disagree with your suggestion on what would make the question clear and useful.

delete the whole question body and replace it with the title?

Specifically I feel that the question has a lack of information rather than an excess.

The question title as written "Find out which command runs when I call a particular function from shell" is misleading because evidently (their example is uname) they don't actually mean a shell function when they say "function". Given that their repost has the title "Find out which command runs when a specific command was typed in terminal", the title they want seems to say pretty much

Find out what command runs when I run a command

I don't think that this is clear at all... in fact I am still in doubt about what OP found in "the first line" of the strace output that was what they wanted. Are they interested in system calls (the execve, which won't be in ps -ef), or did they just want the full path of the command (which probably won't be in ps -ef)? Perhaps, unlike me, you do understand precisely what they wanted from that output, which I think is the first step to formulating a clear question here. If you can edit that into the question, that would make it clear enough for me to vote to reopen it, I think.

Another consideration here, that in my mind weighs strongly against deleting the contents of the post entirely, is that one reproducible part of the problem represented by the question is the OP's confusion that they can or must somehow get what they want from the output of ps -ef (but perhaps I'm still misunderstanding the problem). Your answer does address that:

You are thinking you need the pid of commands called in order to find the command names that is called

And future answers could address it more thoroughly if it were more clearly expressed. So, I think that excising the evidence of OP's confusion from the question would make it less helpful to people who share the OP's confusion.

I think, to make the question clear and useful, what's needed is:

  • a statement of precisely the information they want, preferably with a complete example
  • a title that indicates what they want in a non-circular way
  • a brief demonstration of their attempts to get this information according to their understanding at the time of asking

So, yes, I think the question should be edited and reopened, but definitely not edited to contain only a repetition of a very vague circular description.

  • I've deleted my comment to the OP suggesting question be edited according to my thought pattern. I think it would be worthwhile linking your answer here to the OP via comment though. Thanks for your valuable insights :) Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 10:08
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix thanks for your attention to the confusing (to me) question and efforts. Much better for it to be answered if possible. So, great job on that.
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 10:37
  • it was rather self-serving because the question piqued my curiosity on what individual commands were called by a top level command. As well I thank you again for instructing when in doubt to discuss VTC, VTR, VTunDelete and edits here in Meta. Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 10:43

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