check out the links via the main page on this site, there's some good stuff there.
right... bin = binary. a bin dir is where all the programs go, whether it is c byte code, perl scripts or whatever. there are a few bin directories:
/bin/ = core system programs, ls, find, bash.. all the programs that you need to get linux alive...
/usr/bin/ = additional useful but not core programs, less, gunzip and a vast amount more.
/usr/local/bin/ = additional, like /usr/bin/ but on your own system,
Remember that unix is a networked os, and as such much of the conventions in it are based around large scale networks. On a large network, /usr/bin will frequently actaully exist on a central server, and each client uses it as if it were local, but files in /usr/local/bin are your own. This might get a little complicated and seem OTT for a simple desktop installation, but it's not a good idea to break conventinos, espeically when there's no need.
installing from source, you should unpack all tar.gz's to /usr/src/ and leave them there if possible. you shouldn't give the configure scripts additional prefixes unless you have a reason to do so. they will typically go in /usr/bin or such like, and that's a super super place for them. it's a slightly different strategy to windows in that you don't have a directory for each program, containing eveything it needs. under linux binaries go in a binary directory, libraries go in a library directory etc.. this also means that it is much easier to share libraries and programs, a core principle of unix.
Last edited by acid_kewpie; 11-15-2002 at 03:20 PM.