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I'm getting some weird behaviour for a binary file I'm trying to run. I'm using Mac OSX snow leopard, and the binary itself is part of labkey software .. built from source.

If I try to run the file using an absolute path it won't work .. failing with an error like

-bash /Users/me/Sources/labkey/build/bin/program: cannot execute binary file

However if I change to the directory /Users/me/Sources/labkey/build/bin/program and run the binary just by typing its name it works fine.

I've explored a number of permutations on executing the file.

From within the directory /Users/me/Sources/labkey/external/osx/bin/program if I attempt to run using


I get the error above, but if I use


I don't get an error.

Any ideas on what could be going wrong?

Thanks for the answers just adding more info; Output of file ./program is;

./Program: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.4, not stripped

Output of "which program" is;


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What do you get if you do a "which program"? – John Gardeniers Feb 23 '10 at 4:55
file ./program – Dave Cheney Feb 23 '10 at 4:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could have another installation of the file you are trying to run. When you run it without the "./" it could be calling it from somewhere else on your system (as it's in your PATH).

Do a "which program" to see if you are indeed calling the right file.

share|improve this answer
Yep .. that's the answer. I've got another copy in my path .. one works .. one doesn't. thanks – Ira Cooke Feb 23 '10 at 6:43

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