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Old 07-21-2004, 02:01 PM   #1
iemerick
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Question where should i install software?


Hi,
i've been toying with linux on and off for the last year and am just getting to the point i feel comfortable using it. I think most of this comfort is from a better understanding of common folders and what goes where. My question is where is the best place to install new programs. I've gotten a few different answers. /usr/local and /opt seem to be the most prominent.

I just downloaded and installed firefox 0.9.1 and tried putting it in both of these locations. I have to be root to install it, thats not out of the ordinary, but what i didnt expect is that i would have to be root to run it. when i try to run it (from terminal) it just scrolls "*** loading the extensions datasource" in the terminal window.

(these are the permissions on both /opt and /usr/local drwxr-xr-x root)

here's information i'm looking for

1. which, if either, of these folders should i be installing 3rd party software into?

2. should i be making subdirectory's for each new program?
e.x. /opt/programName-version or /usr/local/programName-version

3. if i were installing apache or other server software where would i want to install that?




and just as a side question is there a way to get it do display permissions via numbers instead of letters? i.e. 777 instead of wxrwxrwxr


thanks.


./ian





ps. i've been using the wesite listed below to help familiarize myself with the linux filesystem. do any of you know of any other good documentation of the linux filesystem? perhaps with comparisons to the windows file system?
(i.e. C:\Program Files == /usr/local)


tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Filesystem-Hierarchy/html/Linux-Filesystem-Hierarchy.html
 
Old 07-21-2004, 03:21 PM   #2
hob
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That's a lot of questions for one post !

The Linux filesystem hierarchy doesn't really map to the Windows layout, because Windows is a workstation system whereas UNIX OSes are essentially designed as servers for lots of clients (terminals) to attach to. Portions of the filesystem are for sharing over the network, other bits are running the machine itself. Over the years different UNIXes have used the same directory names for different things, so there is no clear right answer.

The official spec. is here:

www.pathname.com/fhs/

It's ambigious because the authors basically just list the different practises, without upsetting anyone by laying down definitive answers.

My answers:

1) /usr/local/bin for executables you compile yourself. /opt/vendor-name/app-name is traditionally used for third-party software binaries.

2) Fine if you use /opt. Use the existing directories if compiling into /usr/local.

3) Don't manually install servers - use the distributor's package management and packages from a trusted source. If you manually install server software you'll have to integrate it with the rest of the system, and carry the burden of keeping up with security updates without breaking stuff. In most cases there are no significant performance or functionality benefits to hand compiling server software.

4) I couldn't see anything in the ls man page to do it.
 
Old 07-22-2004, 10:51 AM   #3
eeried
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Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Xubuntu Dapper - Debian Etch - Puppy Linux
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Quote:
ps. i've been using the wesite listed below to help familiarize myself with the linux filesystem. do any of you know of any other good documentation of the linux filesystem? perhaps with comparisons to the windows file system?
(i.e. C:\Program Files == /usr/local)

tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Filesystem-Hierarchy/html/Linux-Filesystem-Hierarchy.html
A few words from a newbie:
Don't worry too much about the file system apart from the basics which you may well know now if you've looked into the webpages you mention. Experience will teach you most, ie installing, or searching for programs on your disks -- it is rather puzzling at first, sure enough

There's not much correspondence between windoz and Linux, so it's best to forget about program files = /usr/local.
By the way, even windoz isn't as stupid as that: C:\windows\program files isn't the only dir where you can install programs. There are only a few programs that are stupid enough to require to be installed into C: programfiles only -- or windoz stupidly requires certain programs to install there? -- anyway I installed all my programs on a different *partition* called Progrz, it's often a question of choosing "custom install" -- all my programs are freeware and nearly all are GNU/Gpl, and of course zip files without installers don't even get registered into the registry.

If you install through apt-get or rpmi on linux you'll see your programs are installed in bits and pieces over several dirs (/usr/bin, /usr/share, /etc ...).

Finally what's grand about program installation in Linux is you can do other tasks, or leave other apps open while you install, and there's no need to reboot -- you can restart your window manager if a config file needs it.

Cheers,
 
Old 07-22-2004, 01:24 PM   #4
iemerick
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thanks for the info guys.
 
Old 07-23-2004, 11:35 AM   #5
eeried
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Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Xubuntu Dapper - Debian Etch - Puppy Linux
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Here's a link to a (free and on line) book about Linux which explains it all:
http://www.icon.co.za/~psheer/book/rute.html.gz

Have a good read!

Cheers,
 
  


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