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Old 12-13-2006, 10:30 AM   #1
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I set up my Linux a Week ago (first time), and I am wondering how I can choose my installdestinations. I dont want to install everything to /usr/bin or where else it is stored. I cant imagine, that programs like "pingus" or openoffice are adding librarys to my system that are needed by any program else. I hope u understand what i mean...

I ask this question some mailinglists, and they said, it is impossible to choose. If this is true, there is another question:
I have got 3 partitions. Swap, /, and /home. /is about 7 GB and ext3 and /home is about 70GB and reiserfs. How do i join / and /home (i want to use reiserfs)? And where is the sense in having 3 Partitions?

I am using Debian/etch.

Thx 4 help
der Maxist
Old 12-13-2006, 10:59 AM   #2
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It depends on how you're installing the package. If you're using a distro that has a package manager (e.g., yum or apt) and installing prebuilt binaries, things are going to go where the software has been compiled to put it. Since everything is compiled for you, you don't have much choice. Debian falls in this category.

If you use a source-based distro like Gentoo, everything (not really) is built from source on your machine using scripts. You could hack the script and put things where you want them. A package manager is still being used, but the default install locations are chosen by someone other than you.

You could use something like (C)LFS where there is no package manager unless you install one or create one. In this case, you simply pass --prefix=<whatever> to the configure script to install the package in <whatever>. You can usually provide finer control with other options as well (e.g., --libdir=, --sysconfdir=, etc.). This paragraph also applies if you install a package outside of your package manager regardless of the distro.

That said, putting libraries, binaries, *.pc files, etc. in odd locations is likely to lead to a borked system. At a minimum, it will become more cumbersome for you to administer. There is a standard that is adhered to by the distros to varying degrees, including not at all. Stick close to this and your box will be easier to administer.

BTW, you'd be surprised what might use a library. You're right the pingus libs may not be used by anything else, but the standard has a place for things like that beside /usr/lib.

Last edited by weibullguy; 12-13-2006 at 11:03 AM.
Old 12-13-2006, 11:01 AM   #3
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Several points can be made here:
  1. Don't change the default install directories without a good reason, especially when using a package manager.
  2. You can put SW anywhere you want. The package managers typically have options and with some apps you can simply move the tar.gz file anywhere you want before you unpack it.
  3. You only NEED 1 partition (+ swap). The normal reason for a separate /home is for backup (or maybe sharing). This said, there is also no obvious reason for merging it with /.

I would recommend using defaults when installing with the package manager--or compiling. Otherwise, I generally put other things in /opt.
Old 12-13-2006, 04:54 PM   #4
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Thank you for the fast answer.
But because I have got another HDD, I want to merge the 2 Paritions.
Is it possible, to copy everything to dunno what, format / (the ext3) with reiserfs and then recopy everything? Or can i do this with Knoppix?


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