Originally posted by Mikessu
No, it is usually almost same in all distros.
In a general sense it's true - everybody's got an /etc - but in details only certain things are consistent or compliant and a lot of things are not. I mean, even at a root level, Debian tends to want to create mount point directories for removable drives in /, while most put them under /mnt, and some don't put them anywhere but leave it to the user. The /opt, /usr, /usr/local areas are particularly fuzzy from distro to distro.
As far as where to install programs, packages often go where they want to go and I redirect source compiles (except on Gentoo, where everything is) to /usr/local - which is where they're supposed to go by default but not all do.
For the home user, it hardly matters, though - most of Linux's directory structure is overly complex and dependent on multi-user multi-machine assumptions with users who can't be root and so on. Still, Slackware won't clobber /usr/local in an upgrade, iirc.