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Old 04-09-2006, 09:34 PM   #1
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How to find executables?

I've been playing with Linux on and off for several years and the most vexing problem I've found is that I am never sure where to look for executable files. Heck, I'm not even sure sometimes whether a file I've found is executable or not. There have been multiple occasions where I have installed a .tar or .rpm only to never find it again (or at least not without some significant search time.)

Is there any good search utility that can find all my executables (and differentiate "parent" programs from subroutines?) Is there any good utility which will allow me to easily construct a menu system, or add to my Fedora 3's existing gnome-based menu?

Thanks for your help!


Old 04-09-2006, 09:54 PM   #2
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To see if a file is executable, you just have to see if its execute bit is set. Do an 'ls -l <file>' and if you see an x show up in the beginning of it, it's executable.
Old 04-09-2006, 10:00 PM   #3
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many times when you install a program, it won't add it into the menu program. the best way to find the program is to open a terminal and type
whereis <program name>
and that will usually result in an output of something like
<program name> /usr/bin/<program name>
and maybe a few other lines if it has associated libraries and stuff.

to run a program, use the run command or open a terminal and type the program name, and it should run for you.

also, i believe all the executables will be included in the /usr/bin directory. if you can't find something you installed and you think it's executable...check out /usr/bin and see if it isn't hanging out in there....

Last edited by detpenguin; 04-09-2006 at 10:05 PM.
Old 04-09-2006, 10:07 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: North America
Distribution: Kubuntu 7.04 - Feisty Fawn
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A very slow and hackish way of listing all executables on your system is
ls / -R | file -f "-" | grep executable | less
Of course, that won't tell you where they are. You can modify the regexp in the grep part to find certain things.
Just use whereis to find where an executable is.

Last edited by sumguy231; 04-09-2006 at 10:11 PM.
Old 04-10-2006, 02:55 AM   #5
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When looking at an idividual file, use the 'file' cmd, (man file).
To find excutables, use the find cmd with the -perm option (you'll need to specify this exactly) (man find).
Old 04-10-2006, 03:27 AM   #6
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How's about a [TAB][TAB][TAB] look? It will show you all the files marked executable in your $PATH variable.

Old 04-10-2006, 03:36 PM   #7
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Yeah, that definately beats the pants off my idea. I guess I just wanted to use pipes, since pipes are cool.
Old 04-10-2006, 03:46 PM   #8
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Hi Dadzilla,

The executables installed by rpms and tarballs usually get installed in '/bin, /usr/bin, /sbin, /usr/sbin, /usr/local/bin and /usr/local/sbin, unless you specify otherwise at thetime of installation. You can list the commands in these directories and find them.



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