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Old 04-26-2005, 04:14 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Rotterdam
Distribution: Mandriva 2006 Community Edition
Posts: 62

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where to install programs?

Hello everybody,

I'm new to Linux and I'm just wondering where I could best install my programs. At first I thought of /usr/local/bin/ but then I realised you'll have to be root to install programs in there. So then I would have to switch to my root account every time I would like to install a program. Furthermore I'm not sure if that is the right location. When trying to install NetBeans it comes up with this directory: /home/<username>/. Is this the right one to install all of my Apllications? Basically I'm looking for the Linux equivalent of the Windows "Program Files" folder. I hope somebody can help me out.

Old 04-26-2005, 04:27 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
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You might be interested in my article:
This is for the "equivalent of Program Files" question.

Indeed, installing software on the system normally requires you to have root permissions.
You can also install software in your home directory without being root, but then it will be only for yourself. If this is what you want, take a look at "RootLess" on this page:
This is an easy and organised way of managing software in the home-directory.

I hope this helps.

Old 04-26-2005, 04:34 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: India
Distribution: Debian
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/usr/local/bin is the right directory where you can install your programs and for that you have to be root. But if you want to install in your home directory you can do that but then that program can only be used by you. For others to use it you have to provide a symblink to that. Try getting the rpm/deb installer for that package. That will place the programs inside appropiate folders.
You can also try the sudo command if you do not want to switch user.

Old 04-26-2005, 06:57 AM   #4
Registered: Feb 2004
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You may want to look at an explanation of the Linux file system.
Old 04-26-2005, 11:36 AM   #5
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Rotterdam
Distribution: Mandriva 2006 Community Edition
Posts: 62

Original Poster
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Thanx for you replies, this is what I finally choose to do:
- open a shell
- changed to root (su)
- run the install binary (./jdk-1_5_0_02-nb-4_0-ml-linux.bin)

This started a GUI which automatically entered /opt/ to install the JDK1.5 (now I can use generics ) and Netbeans 4.0. I installed the 2 programs in the /opt/, I figured the default would be fine by me. When I didn't change to root, the default was /usr/<username>, but if I would install all the program I want in there it would become quit a mess.

This link is quite nice for everybody who is trying out Linux for the first time:, thanks OSourceDiplomat!


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