I've been reading all this stuff about Linux and how it is open-source for everything, and that is one of the great things about it. But I haven't really seen anything. On the one hand I have just switched to Linux so don't really know anything. Please correct me if I am wrong: any program can be opened and looked at and THAT'S the source or you can execute the program, which runs the program.
I'm trying to learn the shell and one of the tutorials was talking about with different users you can put restrictions on them so they can only view the program and not run it:

When applied to a folder, the execute permission has nothing to do with
running programs. Instead, the execute permission controls who can
access or modify the small folder file.

I don't really want to change any program source codes, but I would like to look at them so I can learn from them.
Thanks :)

9 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by valinux

Welcome to Linux!

First of all not all programs for Linux are open source!!! Infact, in some cases it is illegal to look at certain programs source code!!! (just thought I'd mention that)

>I haven't really seen anything
Your probably not looking right...for example...in Ubuntu you can view the Linux Kernel source code by going to the directory: /usr/src/ cd /usr/src generally when you install a program, you don't really work with the source code(you work with binaries), unless you compile it, almost always the project supplies the source code in a separate tarball for downloading, you just gotta find them.

A good example of this is the mozilla FTP server:
the binaries are located here:

and the source is here:

get it?

Sometimes however, programs installed also will bring the source, this is generally stored in a directory called "src"

for example there might be a pidgin/src/ or mozilla/src/ directory on your system. Those would hold source code

Just for your reference
/bin - binaries
/lib - libraries
/src - source

> When applied to a folder, the execute permission has nothing to do with
running programs. Instead, the execute permission controls who can
access or modify the small folder file.

That just means if you have a program located in a file, and you aren't allowed to access that folder, you can't run that program.

Hope I helped :)

Please tell me if you need more explanation :)

Votes + Comments
Thanks a lot. That explained it really well. I read that bit about the binaries and compiling it, but it didn't make sense before. Thanks again.

hello friend,
I could be of assistance too. Just mention one thing you'd like to do and let's see if we can throw in some practice!
First thing though: You must get this book to open your eyes and depending, turn you to a pro within three or four dedicated months:http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=A+practical+guide+to+red+hat+linux+Mark+G%2E+Sobell
Go for either the 2008 or 2006 edition. You can buy the used one as it is very cheap and they ship worldwide. Without meaning to, I find the book really helpful.
Once you get the book, let me know.
However, for a start, if you must touch any code, you must first log in as "root" as username and supply the p[assword you created during installation. Also go to the desktop preference to change to KDE desktop to enable you use the command console better.
See you then!


I have Ubuntu, not Red Hat Linux. I don't know the difference and don't have time to research it right now, but I will.
Thanks :)

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