16.3. Starting Applications
I installed an application I downloaded from the Internet,
and everything seemed to go fine, but I still get "command not found"
when I type its name. I think I have the right name, so why will it
If you are trying to start an application from the shell prompt
and it is not working, try typing out the full directory path before the
name of the application's executable (such as
For example, imagine that you have downloaded the
setiathome client application and want to try it
out. You follow the directions for installing the software, which
creates a subdirectory in your home directory called
seti/. Now, start the application using the full
path to the executable file as shown below:
The reason you may need to type the full pathnames in order to
start an application is because the executable was not placed in a
directory where your user shell environment knew it could be found
(such as /usr/local/bin).
You can customize your settings so that you are not required to
use the type the full path to the application each time. To do this,
you will have to edit your PATH environment variable.
16.3.1. Editing Your PATH
If you frequently start programs that are not located in a
directory that your user shell has been configured to search, you will
have to edit your user shell configuration file to add the directory
containing the executable you wish to run. You can do this by adding
the directory to your PATH environment variable.
These instructions are intended only for
user accounts. Avoid modifying files such as the root user's
.bash_profile, because of the potential
Start a text editor, such as gedit or
vi, at a shell prompt. You can open the file
called .bash_profile by typing the following:
You will see a PATH statement, similar to the one shown
To the end of this statement, add $HOME/seti as shown
Save the file and exit the text editor.
You can then make the changes to
.bash_profile take effect immediately by typing the
By adding paths to your .bash_profile, you
can place utilities and programs in your path and be able to execute
them without having to type ./ in front of the command.