Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

I often use this way to make my executable appear in terminal. Is it good or bad? And why?

share|improve this question
What is "your executable"? A program of your own? Do you share the system with other users? – slhck Dec 18 '12 at 7:25
I mean file that can be execute, may be downloaded program or anything else. And I don't share my system with others. – Amp Tanawat Dec 18 '12 at 7:28
up vote 0 down vote accepted

There's nothing wrong with leaving a symlink to an executable in /bin. In fact, it could be a very clean way of managing your executables, compared to putting every single executable's path in your $PATH.

So, instead of having, for example, /usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin in your $PATH, you'd have /home/user/foo/bin:/home/user/bar/bin:/yet/another/bin:/usr/local/bin, etc. which would be hard to maintain. Plus, you'd have to set up your custom path for all shells, whereas simply putting the symlink into /bin makes it available to any shell right away.

But this is your choice. Often, programs will have to have a FOO_HOME variable set, pointing to their directory, e.g. TOMCAT_HOME, which contains a bin directory of its own.

Maybe you should consider using /usr/bin instead of /bin, because the latter is usually reserved for essential system binaries that are available to all users, and /usr/bin is for non-essential binaries.

Even better would be to use /usr/local/bin, since /usr/local is the default place for anything you've installed yourself, as a user—so anything that is not part of a default system installation. If /usr/local/bin is not in your $PATH, you should of course add it.

To find out more about the directory organization, read the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.

share|improve this answer
+1 for /usr/local/bin. The /bin and /usr/bin directories should be maintained by the package manager, /usr/local/bin should be used for programs installed manually, and useful shell scripts. – richardneish Dec 18 '12 at 9:42

/bin is used for executables used by the kernel. /usr/bin/ Is I think for your distibutions package manager. You can freely add links to your executables to /usr/local/bin which is typically where software that you compile would install themselves with a make install

The ideal method is to add ~/bin to your path, create that folder in your home directory and just use that folder.

Of course all this is mostly about neatness, elegance, correctness, etc. I cant think of a reasonable technical flaw in linking directly to /bin as long as you do it correctly with no mistakes ever.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .