Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software
User Name
Linux - Software This forum is for Software issues.
Having a problem installing a new program? Want to know which application is best for the job? Post your question in this forum.


  Search this Thread
Old 01-03-2005, 09:45 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0
Posts: 11

Rep: Reputation: 0
Home directory question

Hi all,

A few dumb Linux newbie questions.....

Using Mandrake 10.0

I was simply wondering about the Home directory. I had assumed its use was for the user's personal files and programs, but I am rethinking that idea. What precisely is Home for? I mean I suppose I could download the firefox tarball and install it in a directory off Home, but I thought the /usr directory was where programs are supposed to be installed to! If any of this is giving people a chuckle, no worries. Coming in from a windows background to a real operating system is bound to produce a few questions like this.

While I am at it, when the verbose logon sequence says "starting the shorewall firewall", IS it truly started or do I have to do something further with netfilter? There is nothing server related running on the linux box like an ftp server etc.

Any help is appreciated,

Old 01-03-2005, 10:30 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Slackware 10, Open BSD 3.6, Mac OS 10.3.7, Splack 10 beta
Posts: 393

Rep: Reputation: 30
/home holds the users folders.

I generally relate /home/nameOfUser to My Documents.
Old 01-03-2005, 11:47 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 4,113

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Yeah - $HOME holds your personal configuration data (dotfiles), your personal files, and anything you want to put there.

As far as apps, while you can certainly put them in /usr or anywhere else, /usr/local (under /usr) is specifcally where you might put add-on apps (at least that you compile yourself rather than through your distro's package management tools) but you'd need to have root access (which, on a multi-user box, you might not) whereas you can also install stuff in $HOME with your regular user account.

Not sure about shorewall, though.

-- Oh, and don't worry about the questions - it's all very confusing at first and that's okay. (Actually, it can be slightly confusing for a long time ) - welcome to LQ!

Last edited by slakmagik; 01-03-2005 at 11:49 PM.
Old 01-04-2005, 12:11 AM   #4
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Denver, CO
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 95

Rep: Reputation: 15
If it does not perform a system function, or help with system administration, and is only for me and not other users, I'd put it in my /home. Also, anything which I don't fully trust goes /home.

Anything which does a system function, or needs to be usable for more than one user, goes in /usr.

As far as Firefox goes, I installed it in /usr, because more than one user will be using it, and I trust it. But I just installed Morphon XML editor in my /home directory, because no other user's going to want to use it, and I don't know if it is stable.

That's my philosophy, anyway.

Last edited by jlangelier; 01-04-2005 at 12:15 AM.
Old 01-04-2005, 12:22 AM   #5
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,042

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
The directory /home is usually where all your user's data will be stored, but you can place users in another directory like /usr. The directory /usr is usually for programs, but again it can be the home of all your users.

Like in Windows, it is up to you. Where do you think it should go. In Windows, programs do not have to be installed in C:\Program Files. It can go into another directory like C:\System. See you can put programs any where you like, but the location for the program should be obvious to you when it comes time to use the program.

I place Firefox in /usr/local and I made a symbolic from /usr/local/bin to Firefox directory. This way seems obvious to me.

You do not need a firewall unless you do not have one. I suggest do not run shorewall if you already have a firewall.

The $HOME is an environment variable. It points to where ever the user has been created at.
Old 01-04-2005, 05:28 PM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0
Posts: 11

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks for the replys....

Thank you all for your replies, this does indeed simplify things.

My only remaining question is with the firewall, although I don't have one except shorewall. BTW this is a single user box ( ME! and no one else ). The reason I am a little stuck on the firewall is in Windows I had ZoneALarm which gave adequate protection, well that and being behind a router helped too! The Linux box will also be behind a router. WIth shorewall on a single user machine, is it sufficient? Also does it have a GUI or table or layout to see what ports are blocked, what programs were blocked, or not blocked. If so, where would I find that? Sorry to be a pain but the reference manual from mandrake is not really full of security information. Last question is what is one of the better Anti Virus programs out there for Linux, I was thinking of using Fprot AV as it is free and they provide free updates but I am open to suggestions.

Thanks again,



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apache Root/Home Directory and setting up FTP for home directories? Mankind75 Linux - Newbie 6 07-23-2006 03:37 PM
c++ home directory bendeco13 Programming 2 11-04-2005 06:27 PM
home directory paul62 Linux - Newbie 3 11-18-2004 09:39 PM
/home directory structure question Dswissmiss Linux - General 2 09-29-2004 12:54 PM
Can't get in home directory--Help dtsfanatic Linux - General 1 08-10-2002 04:19 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:43 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration