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Author Topic: Starting "awkward" programs, i.e. those that install into their own directories  (Read 15494 times)

Colonel Panic

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Hi! A small problem has arisen in connection with Adobe Acrobat Reader 7, which installs into its own directory. I can't seem to be able to start it from the menu of any window manager I use, even though I include the path to the start up file (acroread).

Any ideas as to why this might be the case?

Thanks in advance,

Colonel Panic.
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exeterdad

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Have you:  echo $PATH  to check if the export worked or not?  Does the path to acroread show /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat7.0/bin or something like that?

I like creating sym links in /usr/bin to those oddball locations so my path doesn't get too messy.
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lagagnon

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Either the pathname you are typing is is not complete or incorrect or the executable is not set as executable. Check with "ls -al fullpathname" to see if it is executable.
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Colonel Panic

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Thanks for your advice. ls -ad doesn't seem to like the spaces in the directory name (Adobe Reader 7), so I'm going to change it to something continuous and try again.
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JohnB316

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Colonel Panic,

I happen to have Acrobat Reader on my box. Since I installed it from the tarball made by Adobe, I installed it into the /usr/local/Adobe... directory. What I then did was to create a symlink in /usr/bin as root to point to acroread, since I don't necessarily want to add the Adobe directory to my PATH variable. Assuming that your Adobe Reader executable (acroread) is installed in /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat7.0/bin/ do things like so:

1) Open a terminal and become root via the su command.
2) Type cd /usr/bin[/tt] at the prompt.
3) Now type ln -s /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat7.0/bin/acroread . at the prompt (don't forget that period at the end of the command!). You'll be able to launch acroread from a terminal or from a launcher.

HTH,
John
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exeterdad

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Not trying to hijack the thread.  But I don't get why the period is important?  I didn't add one and I haven't noticed anything odd.  Did I do it wrong? *interested*
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Triarius Fidelis

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Not trying to hijack the thread.  But I don't get why the period is important?  I didn't add one and I haven't noticed anything odd.  Did I do it wrong? *interested*

For ln? It's implicit to put the link in the current directory, I believe. One familiar with linguistics might call it the null morpheme in the ln invocation...
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GrannyGeek

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I think it's a lot easier to make a symlink with Midnight Commander than trying to remember all the commands and syntax. Just open MC, have the directory with Adobe Reader's executable in one panel and the directory where you want the symlink (such as /usr/bin) in the other panel. Highlight the Adobe Reader executable (on my system it's /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat7.0/bin/acroread). Then hit Control-x, s (or File menu, Symlink). MC will create a symlink in /usr/bin or whatever directory is visible in the other panel.

Now you should be able to start Adobe Reader with an acroread command, no path necessary.
--GrannyGeek
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Lyn

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I think it's a lot easier to make a symlink with Midnight Commander ....

Snip

Now you should be able to start Adobe Reader with an acroread command, no path necessary.
--GrannyGeek

This is one reason why I think that MC is such a great utility/file manager - so versatile.  Thanks for that Granny!
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Triarius Fidelis

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I was going to say how the CLI way is a zillion-fold faster once one is accustomed, but that's a sure way to start a flame war.  :P
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exeterdad

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For ln? It's implicit to put the link in the current directory, I believe. One familiar with linguistics might call it the null morpheme in the ln invocation...

Oh dear Lord!

Now I'm really confused about that period.  I actually lost sleep last night about your explaination.  I have to admit I'm envious of your obvious understanding of Linux.

I can't for the life of me understand what you just explained.  I went into my .bash_history file and found that when I created the symbolic link I used "ln -s /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat7.0/bin/acroread acroread".  Which was pretty cool because the way you did it is easier (I also did that command from within /usr/bin).

So I deleted my acroread link and did it your way and launched acroread fron another console.  Of course it launched.as expected.  Then for the heck of it I deleted it once more and did the very same command without the period.  There was no complaints afterwards and acroread launched the same as before. So that got me even more puzzled.

So that got me on Google for a couple hours this morning trying to find whatever I could about using a period with ln.  Perhaps I used the wrong keywords, but I couldn't find anything.  So then I searched about setting up a symbolic link with acroread and found many different ways go go about it, but none of them had a period.

Now please understand I am in no way doubting your knowledge or expertise, but am interested in doing things the correct way.  And even more...  I have to understand the logic involved in it.  If you could point me to more info on this I would be grateful, because I can't seem to find it.

I need to get out more, rather than obsessing about silly stuff!  lol

Regards, Lee
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uelsk8s

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exeterdad,
the dot "." is a "shortcut" to the current dir
Code: [Select]
cd /usr/bin
ln -s /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat7.0/bin/acroread .
is the same as
Code: [Select]
ln -s /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat7.0/bin/acroread /usr/bin or
Code: [Select]
cd /usr/bin
ln -s /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat7.0/bin/acroread acroread
or even
Code: [Select]
ln -s /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat7.0/bin/acroread /usr/bin/acroread
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exeterdad

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And the light goes on!!

Thanks for putting it in "Lee is an idiot" terms.  I knew it had to be something simple.  ;D
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Colonel Panic

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A quick update; I solved the problem by shortening the directory name from "Adobe Reader 7" to "AR7", thus removing the spaces which it turns out were the cause of the problem (despite the fact they were part of the tarball); the menu entry now works properly. Thanks everybody.

I can see I've still got a lot to learn about Linux though, like how to create a symlink when I need to.
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EyesOnly

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Yes, thanks uelsk8s for explaining that. Unlike Lee, I didn't loose any sleep over it as I just happened in on this subject after being away for a few days. But like Lee I like to understand the logic on why things are done the way that they are. That was interesting and easy to understand. Thanks for explaining---and thanks for your persistence Lee for those of us who wouldn't normally have asked. -blush!-

Amicalement,

Eyes-Only
"L'Peau-Rouge"
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