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Old 02-14-2004, 09:33 PM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2003
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App locations Where do they go??

I've been using linux off and on for a while now. I have no problems jumping right in and figuring things out on my own, but, this one I can't seem to find help for.

When I install apps, whether it be from RPM, source, what have you, I can never tell where the applications are installed. I have to dig around the linux file structures for an hour. Is there a rule of thumb that I can get used to?

My latest, I downloaded firefox, and extracted it, placed it in /home/General Apps What I am wondering is, can I get all RPM's and the like, to be installed in /home/General Apps

I miss windows, where all my apps are in program files, and somewhat wish there were a directory for my programs.

I'm quite neat when it comes to my PC, and would like to stay that way. Hate having executables in one directory, and then rest of the program in another....

Another example is this:

I downloaded superkaramba RPM, and can't for the life of me, find where the directory is.

Anyone know?

Old 02-14-2004, 10:01 PM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Distribution: Arch Linux
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The POSIX system is MUCH better for installation. It provides predictable standard file locations, instead of the mess that is the Windows structure.

Binaries go in /bin folders (/usr/bin, /usr/local/bin), libraries in /lib, documentation in /doc, config files in /etc.

Unlike Windows, UNIX seperates the files by type. Usually everything isn't in one folder. Though, there is /opt, that acts similar to Program Files. It may be something like /opt/mozilla or /opt/gnome. Even then though, the files will still be organized the standard way with /opt/gnome/bin, /opt/gnome/lib, etc, etc.

Why is this better? You always know where to go. I could tell you that any library is in /lib in UNIX, but you could not tell me where the Photoshop libraries (for example) are without looking around. There is no standardization.
Old 02-14-2004, 10:10 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Brighton, Michigan, USA
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
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I understand completely.

Your "program files" (if it helps at least a little), can be considered /usr/bin (normal user commands), and there are some in /usr/X11R6/bin (X-related files) as well. Unfortunately, this doesn't help much, because those files are usually in your path, and at the command line, you can type the first couple letters, and hit tab, and get a listing of files that match. Also, the packaging is up to whoever, so they might have other ideas on where the files show up. (/usr/local, /opt, etc)

One thing I'd recommend, is running 'updatedb' as the root user after installing new files. Then, you can type 'locate filename' or part of the name (as either root or a normal user), and find your files.

In reality, rpms are being pushed aside in favor of apt-style systems (where they not only check your dependencies, they download and install them as well, often setting up all the paths and menu links in the process), but it will be a while yet. For most programs, if you still have the .rpm on your system, you can do a listing of what files are installed where. 'man rpm' will help you with this.

Lastly, the 'which' command is sometimes useful if you later forget where the file is located. 'which bash' for example, will tell you the directory of bash. Not too useful for your situation, but useful at times.


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