Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How to know the directory / folder of Linux applications / programs?

Where is the Linux's Program Files ?

Or, at which locations the programs in Linux installed? Exactly the same question was asked by one reader. There are no such file or folder named Program File (as in Windows) in Linux, and Linux program do not store most of their files in one such location and, in general, they do not ask you the dumb question - where to install your program files.

Yes, Linux Programs are intelligent enough to install their files in pre-defined required directories. But, at times you need to know where these files are? For example, you installed an application and want to place its program start-up icon at Desktop or in Start Menu. For this, you must know the exact location of its executable binary that enables you to create shortcut at desired location.

Well, most of the Linux programs places either binary or their link to locations like - /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/share/bin etc. But these directories itself are quite big and scattered hence finding particular program by searching remain a tedious job.

Here is a command that rescues you in such situations - whereis

For example, you want to know where GIMP program's executable is located. To know this, give following command:

#whereis gimp

The output will be like this-

gimp: /usr/bin/gimp /etc/gimp /usr/lib/gimp /usr/share/gimp

Obviously, the binary gimp required to create shortcut to start gimp is located at /usr/bin directory. If you found no output with whereis command then either the named program is not installed or you misspelled it. So check out now - where-is your Linux Program installed!


Related Reading : How to create program link in your Linux desktop

PS: Any guess who this beautiful lady is, and where we can find her?

(she is from Fedora default screensaver :)

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Alex said...

You might want to mention the which command as well. It returns the pathnames of the files which would be executed in a shell.


which gimp



It's particularly useful when you might have two versions of a piece of software and want to know which one you're running.

Raviratlami said...

Thanks for pointing this :)

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