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The executable bit is a part of the filesystem that tells the system that the file can be executed (or run). There are also bits for reading and writing. These bits can be turned for any combination of the owner of the file (u for user), the group that owns the file (g) and others (o).
chmod u+x ~/bin/scriptname
will turn on the bit for user (or owner). You can also set the bits for all three at once by leaving off the u.
"star" at the end means that you script is executable, e.g. has 'x' in its attribute. Could you post exact output of:
BTW: your shell prompt configuration doesn't really matter on the output of shell commands.
Path looks good: directory "/home/<USER_NAME>/bin" is there. Make sure that your script is in this directory.
'cd' to any other directory and do "ls /home/<USER_NAME>/bin", and you must see you script in the list. If this
is the case you should be able to execute the script from any location.
That is really strange! For the sake of the experiment, try to move your '/home/USER_NAME/bin' at the end of the path.
You could do it by manipulating PATH variable in your .bashrc and .bash_profile in home directory.