It means that in linux, when typing a command like
the shell (bash most likely) will search only your PATH environment for that executable.
This means that even if you are in the directory in which a executable resides, you can't execute it just by typing it's name. To circumvaint this, linux users usually type
You can, however, add the current directory to the path by adding ./
(or simply .
) in the PATH environment.. However this is very bad practice for root..
Consider that a tricky user made a malicious script that changed the password of the root account (or does any other thing) and named that program cd
and put it in his home folder... Then consider a newby sys-admin that allowed the following PATH for root
Now, if he ever founds himself in that users home directory and uses the cd
commands, that malicious programs will get executed instead (well, in this exact situation, in a typical system, bash already found cd
once in /usr/bin/cd and won't look for it again -- but that's another discussion)
Hope I've cleared things up a little..