[Techtalk] Executing user-made commands on the command line

Alain Tesio alain at onesite.org
Sun May 11 14:19:33 EST 2003

On Sun, 11 May 2003 04:55:08 -0700 (PDT)
Berenice <showercurtain2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> May as well post some more questions while I'm here :)
> 1.  Where I can see the source code of commands such as ls or rm? 
> I'm interested in seeing how they do things like flow control and
> options.

It depends of the command. Most basic binaries come from gnu.org.

Whatever your distribution is, Debian repository is a good starting point
to get source files, at this url:

Type the name of the file in the section "search contents" (bin/ls to get
less matches than just ls)

Then you see the file in the package fileutils, and from the package page
you can download the source tarball (not modified by Debian) :


> 2. If I create my own commands, how can I make them run like standard
> linux commands (ie: just by tying in the command name at the prompt)?

Your executable file must be in your path:
"echo $PATH" to see it
"export PATH=~/bin:$PATH" to insert a new directory at the start of your path

Put this in ~/.bashrc (or similar depending of your shell) to make it permanent.
Usual directories are /usr/local/bin (system-wide) or ~/bin (each user)


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