type - macOS


type displays the contents of a file or standard input on the standard output, one line at a time.


type [-AES] [file ...]


  • -A: Displays non-printing characters (except for tab and newline) using ANSI escape codes.
  • -E: Displays the end of line character of each line.
  • -S: Silently skips unreadable files without errors or standard input failures.


  • Display the contents of a file:
type /etc/passwd
  • Display a file’s contents with line breaks:
type -E error.log
  • Display multiple files’ contents:
type file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt
  • Display the contents of standard input:
echo "Hello, world!" | type

Common Issues

  • File permission errors: Ensure the user has sufficient permissions to read the file.
  • Empty input: type will do nothing if there is no input to display.


type can be used in conjunction with other commands, such as:

  • grep: To search for specific text in files:
type log.txt | grep "error"
  • head: To display the first few lines of a file:
type /var/log/system.log | head -10
  • cat: Concatenates and prints files.
  • more: Displays files one page at a time.
  • less: Similar to more, with advanced features like search and navigation.