How to see or view the sourcecode of various linux commands

how to see or view the code of various linux commands

There is many ways to find the source code of packages that provide you commands.

You can go to* and search for the package you are interested in.

For the GNU tools that you can find in any Linux distro, I would go to and browse their repo. For example: GNU Core Utilities - Git Repositories [Savannah], coreutils.git - GNU coreutils

Today, most code is somehow available on github and gitlab. Just search the internet for “ source code”

If you want to clone, edit, and merge code you should make use of git.


I see you are an enthusiast eager to learn Linux!
That’s awesome … don’t forget to keep things in context (This is a place to ask about “Fedora”). But since Fedora is Linux, let’s see:

If you want to be viewing “source code” for commands, then go to the repository maintained by the developer for that command. Here is an example:

You know about dnf? You can see the source code of the popular package manager in Fedora. How? First find out where the code lives:

sudo dnf info dnf

Installed Packages
    Name         : dnf
    Version      : 4.2.21
    Release      : 1.fc33
    Architecture : noarch
    Size         : 1.7 M
    Source       : dnf-4.2.21-1.fc33.src.rpm
    Repository   : @System
    From repo    : schemed-rawhide
    Summary      : Package manager
    URL          :
    License      : GPLv2+ and GPLv2 and GPL
    Description  : Utility that allows users to manage packages on their systems.
                 : It supports RPMs, modules and comps groups & environments.

Take a look at the URL in that output. That is where dnf’s source code lives.
Have fun looking at the source codes of commands in Fedora.


You can also get the exact source code that was used to built your software by using dnf to download the source version of a package instead of the compiled one.

dnf download <a package> --source

which will download a .src.rpm file - the source package, which contains the source files as well as a file with instructions to the system on how to build it. Check out this article for details - if you’re interested, it also explains how to actually build the package from the src.rpm you downloaded.