Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My OS is Fedora Linux 14.

I write a program with Code::Blocks IDE and it compiles my program with GCC.

My output program is test. When I start my application in Code::Blocks it starts normally. But when I double click on my executable program, the program does not starts. When I start a terminal (in path of my binary program), and type test, my program does not starts, but whrn I type ./test in terminal, it starts normaly. Why I should type ./ when I want running an application?

share|improve this question

migrated from Oct 10 '11 at 14:44

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 8 down vote accepted

./ is necessary when your PATH environment variable does not include the current directory. So if you have an executable in some directory that is not on your path, you need ./theexecutable to tell the shell that your executable is in the current directory.

share|improve this answer
Even if . is in the path if /bin/ is before . in the PATH it will not execute test. /bin/test exists (see the man page). Avoid calling your test program "test" to avoid confusion. – Matteo Oct 10 '11 at 19:22
There are also good reasons to not put . in your PATH. – dietbuddha Oct 11 '11 at 4:43

Simply because the current directory ., is normally not included in the PATH variable.

If you don't what to type ./, you could add . to the colon separated list of folders contained in PATH, however is not recommended, because it would be easy to mask system commands without realising it.

share|improve this answer
Rather than adding ".", I would instead add the specific directory your programs are compiled in, e.g. ~amir/codeblocks/executables. (I have no idea if that's the right directory but I hope I have gotten the idea across.) – CarlF Oct 10 '11 at 15:14
It's somewhat okay to add . at the end of $PATH. Still not recommended, though. – grawity Oct 10 '11 at 16:03
@grawity At the end will not work in this case /bin/test/ exists and will be executed instead of ./test since /bin/ will be before the current did. I would not call my test program test (a common unix utility) – Matteo Oct 10 '11 at 19:23

When you just type the program name, *nix will look through all your PATH locations for that name. If it doesn't find it, it won't start. So you must enter "./" to indicate the current directory.

share|improve this answer

In addition to what the other answers tell you:

When you type test, you're probably invoking /bin/test; man test for details.

When you double-click on the executable (from nautilus or something similar, yes?), it probably does run, but without a terminal you can't see the output.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.