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file displays a files type
the -L flag means follow sym-links (as libraries are often sym-linked to another this behavior is likely preferred)
more complex behavior (*two* grep commands!) could be used to determine if the file is or is not a shared library.
There are 4 alternatives - vote for the best!
Determines the flavor of a shared library by looking at the addresses of its exposed functions and seeing if they are 16 bytes or 8 bytes long. The command is written so the library you are querying is passed to a variable up font -- it would be simple to convert this to a bash function or script using this format.
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