Friday, April 14, 2017

Quick CMD one-liner like "which python" command - and more

By Vasudev Ram

Today, while browsing StackOverflow, I saw this question:

Is there an equivalent of 'which' on the Windows command line?

And I liked the second answer.

The first part of that answer had this solution:
c:\> for %i in (cmd.exe) do @echo.   %~$PATH:i

c:\> for %i in (python.exe) do @echo.   %~$PATH:i
Then I modified the one-liner above to add a few more commands to search for, and ran it:
$ for %i in (cmd.exe python.exe metapad.exe file_sizes.exe tp.exe
) do @echo.   %~$PATH:i
Notice that I also included a .py file in the list of commands to search for, and it worked for that too. This must be because .py files are registered as executable files (i.e. executable by the Python interpreter) at the time of installing Python on Windows.

Of course, as a user comments in that SO post, this is not exactly the same as the which command, since you have to specify the .exe extension (for the commands you search for), and there are other extensions for executable files, such as .bat and others. But since the Python interpeter is normally named python.exe, this can be used as a quick-and-dirty way to find out which Python executable is going to be run when you type "python", if you have more than one of them installed on your system.

I had also written a simple Python tool roughly like the Unix which command, earlier:
A simple UNIX-like "which" command in Python

- Vasudev Ram - Online Python training and consulting

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