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Old 07-16-2007, 09:40 AM   #1
lumix
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So I just installed gpsbabel ... WHERE IS IT?


Where is any program I install, and why should it be so cryptic? Don't mean to be ornery, but it seems kind of silly that it should be so difficult to accomplish (or discover) such a simple thing. I used dpkg -i gpsbabelxxx.deb and sure, I can run it, but where are the files?

Last edited by lumix; 07-16-2007 at 09:41 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2007, 12:04 PM   #2
acid_kewpie
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why does it matter where the files are? you can run "which gpsbabel" to find the binary etc... but you shouldn't have any need to care normally.
 
Old 07-16-2007, 06:48 PM   #3
jay73
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/usr/bin, most likely, or /usr/local/bin. As a rule, both only contain links to the actual program, however, so you may still need to use whereis xxxx or which xxx to find out all the particulars.

Last edited by jay73; 07-16-2007 at 06:49 PM.
 
Old 07-17-2007, 12:18 PM   #4
lumix
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Not sure why one might feel that there shouldn't be a need for anything in particular, but I thank you for the response anyway.

I guess I feel that's a strange comment because:

* other executables sometimes come with a package -- I'd need to know where they are

* packages get damaged, conflicted, etc. so how to repair, remove or compare if I don't know the whereabouts?

* the whole great (and unconvincing) argument behind the linux "way" seems to be that awesome power is bestowed upon its users (administrators, really) and developers that isn't available in other OS'es. How does not even knowing the location of my files fit into that scheme?

* what if I want to create a link to it?

* what about the countless number of things that neither you nor I have thought of?

Again, the info is appreciated.
 
Old 07-17-2007, 12:22 PM   #5
lumix
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Incidentally, is there a way that I can see (i.e. watch) where dpkg is copying files? That would be really helpful.

Thanks again.
 
Old 07-17-2007, 01:15 PM   #6
manlydan
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If you have slocate installed, do 'updatedb' and then 'locate "search string"'.
Any directory or filename containing that search string will be displayed.
 
Old 07-17-2007, 04:32 PM   #7
jay73
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I think you're overgeneralizing, Lumix. Maybe you don't know where binaries go but that's only because you haven't properly looked into the topic so far. Almost without exception, binaries are placed into one of the bin directories: usually in /usr/bin but third party applications may be placed in /usr/local/bin as well. A few get placed in /opt but usually only when the user decides so.

And as said before, most of the items in bin are simply links to the actual programs (I guess to optimize performance) - using whereis or which will show exactly where those can be found.

Last edited by jay73; 07-17-2007 at 04:35 PM.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 12:57 PM   #8
lumix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73
I think you're overgeneralizing, Lumix. Maybe you don't know where binaries go but that's only because you haven't properly looked into the topic so far. Almost without exception, binaries are placed into one of the bin directories: usually in /usr/bin but third party applications may be placed in /usr/local/bin as well. A few get placed in /opt but usually only when the user decides so.

And as said before, most of the items in bin are simply links to the actual programs (I guess to optimize performance) - using whereis or which will show exactly where those can be found.

Is there a more proper way than asking?


The help is appreciated, but why the derisive tone? And what did I generalize? I simply asked where the binaries can be found, and why there should be so much mystery surrounding the whereabouts. I have a right to feel that it is indeed cryptic, and to express such an opinion as long as I don't do so in a derisive fashion, don't I?

You're wondering, perhaps, why I should feel as though I have some natural right to be able to figure this out without looking into it? Well, Linux may not be Windows (or DOS), but if it is supposed to put the power back into the user's hands, why should an installation clandestinely make and execute choices like file location? The Windows is not Linux retort really gets old and worse yet, it's a bad defense against comparison for argument's sake--an entirely valid institution. And having said this, windows (or DOS) usually asks me what and where I want things. Yes, I know I can always find the binaries and really gain some power of choice...but jeez, can't we have a little in-between? I feel as though I'm either coddled and surrounded by mystery and helplessness, or I'm expected to be a battle-hardened, die-in-the-wool Linux expert. I really believe this is keep Linux down.

I'm not picking a fight...really. I love the spirit of Linux, but I continue to feel like it is done a great disservice by this and other similar qualities.

Regardless, I still appreciate the help and hope that I my opinions, if voiced reasonably, continue to be welcome and do not give offense.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 01:59 PM   #9
manlydan
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The reason for automatically sending binaries to a bin directory is to keep the system structured. The same if for your configuration files placed in /etc and your libraries placed in a lib directory. When another program requires a dependency it automatically looks in these directories for what it needs.

If compiling and installing from source, you can specify your own custom location for the binaries, libraries, etc with the configure script, but in doing so, you'll need to remember those locations so you can specify them when installing software that has them as dependencies.

I understand where you're coming from in that Windows lets you choose where to install whatever you're installing, but in a way that works against Windows. If you take a look through any Windows installation you'll find executables and dlls spread out all over the place. With Linux, everything is in centralized locations.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 03:46 PM   #10
jay73
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Quote:
The help is appreciated, but why the derisive tone?
Quote:
Don't mean to be ornery, but it seems kind of silly that it should be so difficult to accomplish (or discover) such a simple thing
I'm sorry if you feel insulted but I'd like to point out your opening post wasn't exactly neutral either. I quoted it again so you could see what I mean. "Silly" isn't the most neutral word in the world and it is simply not true that is any more difficult than Windows, which places its binaries in "Program Files" by default. As manlydan pointed out, it's all a matter of convention. The use of bin, among other things, is recorded in the Standard Filesystem Hierarchy, which aims to set up a standard for all Linux systems.

Of course, I can see your point that "bin" (=binaries) may sound less self-explanatory than "Program Files" but then that's only because you expect that Linux should follow the MS naming scheme. And that is understandable because, like most people, I spent years using Windows only and needed some time to figure out the Linux equivalents as a consequence. Then again, why shouldn't Linux use bin instead? It simply follows the convention created by Unix long before Windows even came into existence. Not to mention that "Program Files" contains a space, which means it would have to be escaped each time one needed to access the directory from the command line (it's not by accident that UNIX/Linux directories are single words - it would otherwise be hugely inconvenient ). Or that the Windows hierarchy isn't unambiguous itself. Windows XP 64 places its drivers in System32 - what could be more confusing than placing 64 bit drivers in directory with such a name?

Anyway, I seem to remember that you have quite some experience as a windows certified professional. Surely you didn't build up your expertise by just clicking about? I think you would benefit from having a look at this:
http://www.debian.org/doc/
That should clear up many doubts and make Debian a lot more pleasurable to work with.

Good luck!

Last edited by jay73; 07-18-2007 at 03:48 PM.
 
  


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