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Old 11-15-2002, 02:55 PM   #1
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Registered: Nov 2002
Location: KC Missouri
Distribution: Fedora Core
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File System? Blah?

I look at all the directories on my newly installed Linux Box... and I just go like...

Can anyone lend me a hand on trying to understand this mess to me? I couldn't be anymore lost... like... what is a 'bin' dir? It seems to have a lot of scripts in it... is that what it's for?

Also when I compile from source (tar.gz right?)... where should I put all the stuff at? Should I specify a directory for like... libraries, or other things? Because I'm just puting all the program files inside a folder like... /usr/local/*program*/

Anything would be appreciated... I can't even find a usefull linux site with tutorials for linux file structuring or use...

Any comments or websites would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Old 11-15-2002, 03:13 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo, RHEL, Fedora, Centos
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check out the links via the main page on this site, there's some good stuff there.

right... bin = binary. a bin dir is where all the programs go, whether it is c byte code, perl scripts or whatever. there are a few bin directories:

/bin/ = core system programs, ls, find, bash.. all the programs that you need to get linux alive...

/usr/bin/ = additional useful but not core programs, less, gunzip and a vast amount more.

/usr/local/bin/ = additional, like /usr/bin/ but on your own system,

Remember that unix is a networked os, and as such much of the conventions in it are based around large scale networks. On a large network, /usr/bin will frequently actaully exist on a central server, and each client uses it as if it were local, but files in /usr/local/bin are your own. This might get a little complicated and seem OTT for a simple desktop installation, but it's not a good idea to break conventinos, espeically when there's no need.

installing from source, you should unpack all tar.gz's to /usr/src/ and leave them there if possible. you shouldn't give the configure scripts additional prefixes unless you have a reason to do so. they will typically go in /usr/bin or such like, and that's a super super place for them. it's a slightly different strategy to windows in that you don't have a directory for each program, containing eveything it needs. under linux binaries go in a binary directory, libraries go in a library directory etc.. this also means that it is much easier to share libraries and programs, a core principle of unix.

Last edited by acid_kewpie; 11-15-2002 at 03:20 PM.


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