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I have only recently started to use Linux (Kubuntu) and I come from a Windows background. Therefore I do not know how to do things ¨properly¨. I want to install ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Apps to /usr or /opt?


    I have only recently started to use Linux (Kubuntu) and I come from a Windows background. Therefore I do not know how to do things ¨properly¨.

    I want to install MATLAB and Maple (respectively a commercial numerical computing environment and a commercial computer algebra system). However I do not know where to install them, either in /usr or /opt?

    I have read that it is just a matter of taste, being consistent or following a distro's way of doing things. So I was wondering, what is the most standard way for Kubuntu, using /usr or /opt?

  2. #2
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    To be technical and follow the File System Hierarchy, you would want to install those package to /opt

    Technically, /usr is more for daemons and other system utilities that aren't critical to running the system.

    Most distributions end up dumping everything in /usr though anyways.

  3. #3
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    Typically, applications packaged for the syste by the distribution vendor get installed to /usr - this dates back to UNIX of olden days. Basically, this means that the files belonging to an application installed the /usr prefix would have this layout:

    binaries go to /usr/(bin|sbin)/
    libraries go to /usr/lib/
    header files go to /usr/include/
    doc files go to /usr/share/(doc|man)/
    config files go to /usr/etc/ (or /etc/)

    A common alternate installation prefix is /usr/local. It is considered good practice to install packages manually to /usr/local, so as not to interfere with system-installed packages. Installing to /opt is also a popular convention (I also see /apps used a bit).

    I would stay away from installing anything to /usr unless you absolutely know what you are doing and are not worried about over-writing anything.

  4. #4
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    "/opt is reserved for the installation of add-on application software packages."

    "/usr is shareable, read-only data. That means that /usr
    should be shareable between various FHS-compliant hosts and must not be written to."

    - From FHS Referenced Specifications FHS 2.3

    "add-on application software packages" being those not installed by the distribution, I think (?).

    EDIT: also http://www.linuxfoundation.org/tags/...archy-standard

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