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I created a symbolic link (yesterday) like this:

sudo ln -s bin/python /usr/bin/prj-python

When I run:

prj-python file.py

I get:

prj-python: command not found

When I try creating the link again, I get:

ln: creating symbolic link `/usr/bin/prj-python': File exists

Why is that happening? My $PATH is:


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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You forgot the initial slash before bin/python. This means /usr/bin/prj-python now points to /usr/bin/bin/python. What would you like it to point to exactly?

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There is not initial slash. the pwd is /home/xralf/my_virtual_env and it has subdirectory bin with python command – xralf Oct 16 '11 at 18:44
Than, you've forgot $PWD/ before bin. – rvs Oct 16 '11 at 20:38
Thank you, this helped. I used this command as it was in the book. – xralf Oct 17 '11 at 9:50

Things to check:

  • Perform an ls -l on /usr/bin/prj-python if its like

    lrwxrwxrwx (...) /usr/bin/prj-python -> bin/python

    the file will actually be searched at /usr/bin/bin/python (that's what xralf tried to say). Fix:

    rm /usr/bin/prj-python
    ln -s /full/path/to/your/python /usr/bin/python-prj

  • If your bin/python is a shell script (aka. wrapper-script) check the #!-line (sometimes called shebang-line) at the first line. If there's a typo like #!/bin/bush that will cause a not found error message also.

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thank you, your answer is even more careful and educational. Sorry I already accepted. – xralf Oct 17 '11 at 9:52
this helped a lot...most of the answers if found were about $PATH – Ja8zyjits Jan 16 at 16:15

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