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I'm a new Linux society member (Red Hat 9). Installation went just fine and now I'd like to install some programs but I don't know which place is the most convenient. In windows os you have a special directory called ProgramFiles - should I create similar directory in /usr?
During installation I created separate partiton for /home but I guess it would be better to use it for the data?
I also encountered problem when I wanted to expand compressed file (which contains installation) zigzag.linux.tar (error massage ''This does not look like a tar archive'').
Programs typically choose a prefix automatically on Linux, there is no need to explicitly tell them where to install.
There are several FS trees that software can "integrate" itself with. /usr is the most common one, /usr/local is used for things you compiled and installed from source. I'd not worry about it - as you'll find out, it's automatic
sounds like the .tar file is corrupt, try re-downloading it from the same source or download it from a new source. Also ensure that you don't move it once you download, in very rare instances on RH 9 it can corrupt files, similar to windows (depending on file size).
Distribution: openSuSE 42.1_64+Tumbleweed-KDE, Mint 17.3
./ (in ./config): . stands for the actual directory you are just working in (type pwd to have it shown), so ./configure is the correct concatenation of the path and the filename "configure" thus yielding /path/to/your/actual/directory/configure. Reason: more often than not the directory you are downloading to is not in the PATH variable (type echo $PATH), and then just typing "configure" won't start it.
The make command executes a file containing a series of commands for the compiler and other utilities. And make install triggers a series of other commands like copying the by the compiler etc. newly created executables etc. into the necessary directories. You can look at the make file with an editor of your choice to get an idea. (make install is just an option for make, I think).