Originally Posted by newbie_john
How do I execute/access the software that i've newly installed? Not the ones I install from the synaptic package manager, but ones that i've downloaded, compiled and installed from internet. How do I tell the difference between executables and other files? Where do I search for those executables?
It's possible that the program compiled an executable AND installed a script that's been marked executable (Firefox comes to mind). Or perhaps the program compiled an executable AND installed a link to it in a common place (RealPlayer comes to mind, and these are easy...just run "ls -lha /usr/bin/realplay" and note the output).
If it put the executable or a script on your PATH, then you should be able to do "which <program name>"...for instance, in the xpilot example given, you could do "which xpilot". If there is an executable on your PATH named xpilot, you'll get a response from which that contains the full path to that executable.
Note that *most* Linux systems install executables (or at least links to executables) in /usr/bin, and sometimes a program that you've downloaded and compiled is installed to /usr/local/bin (check your PATH variable to see if /usr/local/bin is there). echo $PATH will give you the answer...just look for /usr/local/bin in the output.
Also, sometimes games are installed to /usr/games/bin, which may or may not be on your PATH.
As for telling if the file is executable, run "ls -lha /path/to/program" and see if the "x" attribute is set (something like -rwxr-xr-x for something that is read-write-execute for it's owner and read-execute for the owner's group and everyone else). Note that if it begins with drwx, it's a directory and has to be marked executable so that it can be entered/listed/etc...
If you'd rather "bruteforce" it, you can run "find / -executable -type f -nowarn > executables.txt", then either grep or manually search the "executables.txt" file for the program you're looking for.
Hope this helps...