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-   -   How do i choose WHERE to install programs? (

MadSkillzMan 08-01-2004 02:16 AM

How do i choose WHERE to install programs?
ok guys. college starting in about 2 weeks, and my computer must be redone before i go back. i do this at the end of every year (or semester if im lucky) and right before i go back, so that i have a fresh working system.

Over the summer, ive come to love linux. SuSE is totally awsome, but im going to step into yoper shortly.

Ok enough of that bable..

When i redo this thing, i want it to layout like this:

HDA1: WinxpPro (old 2.9gig hdd layin around)
HDB1: Yoper linux (3gig HDD)
HDC1: Apps for BOTH OSes (15gig hdd)
HDD1: STORAGE (120gig hdd)

Ok, yes i have 4IDE channels. before you go and pick at why donti just partition the 120..heres why..

I do video editing, audio processing, photo stuff...etc...and ive had to move that drive from 1 machine to the other in emergencies. Also i get GREAT performance having my render outputs to that drive. Plus any of you who do video editing, and use raw, uncompressed data...knows that u eat up ur gigs FAST! and the LAST thing i need is to get low drive space warnings just because i partitioned it.

Currently i have xp on the 15gig, suse on the 3...and the 2.9 is somewhere in my room. well in windows when i install an app, i simply double click, and select WHERE TO PUT IT.

But in linux, so far using YaST2 im noticing everythng on / just keeps getting smaller and smaller...compiling it from source, i have NO CLUE where it goes. Alls i know is make install just makes it work....then i have to hunt for whatever the heck it made and put a desktop icon.

So how would i be able to INSTALL my LINUX apps to the 15gig? Itd be a fat32 FS (unless i can get NTFS write to work).

Im assuming its possible...i mean people have huge amounts of apps, and theres no way it all fits in / . Thanks in advance guys

David the H. 08-01-2004 03:12 AM

I like your partitioning ideas. Sounds like something I'd come up with myself. I think that instead of havig a single HDC drive with all your apps on it, you should split it into two partitions, one with FAT32 and one dedicated to Linux using EXT3 or ReiserFS. I think Windows apps generally use up more space than Linux apps, so keep that in mind when doling out the space.

I'm just a newbie myself and have no idea how to change install locations myself, but I believe most Linux apps install primarily to the /usr or usr/bin directories, though they can scatter files all around the tree sometimes. For that reason I think that if you simply place your /usr directory tree on HDC you won't have to reconfigure very many programs.

(Edited after re-reading the OP to reflect a better understanding of what you want to do.)

MadSkillzMan 08-01-2004 03:18 AM

hah well atleast someone likes my partitioning......the little that there is..thank u...

Why would i have to even have partitions on my HDC at all? both OSes read FAT32, and ive had some precompiled apps run in a saved windows folder ...that was awhile ago though..

David the H. 08-01-2004 03:40 AM

Sorry, I just reread your original post (and edited my own). I had missed that part. While you don't *have* to have two partitions, I think it would be better if you did. It's better to keep different OS's as separate as possible to avoid any conflicts or mistakes. The two systems have slightly different directory structures for one thing. Also, you might accidentally delete or copy over something the other system needs. You can always mount the Windows partition in Linux if you really need it anyway. Not sure about the other way around, but if you keep it in FAT32, I guess it would be recognized by Windows anyway.

MadSkillzMan 08-01-2004 03:51 AM

ohh i see what ur saying ok. i dont normally mess around with my C: anyways...but that is a good idea

rjlee 08-01-2004 11:51 AM

Linux programs are (for the most part) installed according to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (

In general:
  • /usr/ is used mostly for programs installed by your distribution
  • /usr/local/ is normally the default for other programs
  • /etc/ is used for configuration files
  • /opt/ is used for legacy software
  • /home/ contains the user directories, used for documents etc.

Choosing a different prefix should be possible for most programs. Instead of using you distribution's installer, copy the RPMs to your system and run:

rpm --relocate /usr=/usr/local/ --install file.rpm
This will put the files that were going to go into /usr into /usr/local instead. (You can see which directories can be relocated by runing

rpm -qif somefile.rpm
and looking for the "relocations" bit in the output.

I don't know how you do that with .deb packages under Debian type systems.

You can also set the prefix when installing from source tarballs, using:

./configure --prefix=/usr/local/
I don't recommend installing Linux programs on a FAT32 partition; it will work (so long as you don't get problems with upper- and lower-case filenames), but it isn't a very efficient way of storing files. ReiserFS or ext3 is a better bet so long as you don't need to see them from Windows.

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