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I'm primarily an OS X user but use distros like RH9 and Fedora on my Dell as well. Recently I set up a hard drive install of Knoppix which I really like and I plan to use it alot more. I am trying to understand more broadly how applications are handled in Linux, mostly for my own learning.
In OS X, our applications are created in 'bundles' that reside in
in our file system. Although they do create some files outside of that bundle (preference files mainly, in ~/libarary/preferences/) the application bundles are surprisingly self-contained.
In Redhat and Knoppix, if I install an application manually as opposed to using apt-get I will often just put it in my user account directory (ie ~/ or some such) but of course the basic applications that originally come with the install aren't there and I assume this really isn't best practice.
My question is a broad one: is the stuff in /usr/share/ part, all, or none of the parts of applications running on a Linux system? Or is the custom for Linux applications to put system-wide applications elsewhere, and if so, where? And how well bundled are they - do they tend to reside in one directy and be more or less self contained or do they have to do more of an "install" where they put stuff in different parts of the machine? When I speak of applications in this context I'm thinking of things like Mozilla, or Open Office, or Nano (which I used apt-get to put on my Knoppix install).
as best i understand it...
windows isntalls everything in the folder you tell it to
OSX installs things where they are efficent but keeps the bulk of the code in /Applications
most linux distros store things where they are needed:
/usr/share will be the bulk of the code for the small programs installed by the user
/bin will be the BINary(executible) files for mostally all programs installed by the stystem
/usr/bin will be the binary files installed by the user
/usr/sbin will be the dangerous programs installed by the system for root only (fdisk etc...)
/opt will house all the really big applications (open office.. and mozilla (i think) )
im sure there are more... but i cant think of them... its all very confusing