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I have a laptop running linux, and I've installed various bits and pieces into /usr/local/bin. Some software has created subdirectories (e.g. firefox & blender), some has just gone into /usr/local/bin.

Is this right, that software creates subdirectories in /usr/local/bin, or would it be better to create a subdirectory in /usr/local?

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/usr/local is a good place to deposit software when you install them from compilation (./configure && make && make install). This is the default location for virtually every software compiled and installed by hand.

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when i compile software, it will correctly put the binaries in /usr/local/bin, libs in /usr/local/lib, etc. but what about when i download a precompiled package such as firefox, which when i extract it it creates a 'firefox' directory? – Simon Aug 22 '10 at 17:25
In such cases, the precompiled software is self-contained into that directory. You can put it wherever you like, while the most common are /usr/local/firefox and /opt/firefox. Just add some symlinks to the executable file, so it can be found in your $PATH (or change the $PATH to include these extra directories). See also:… – Denilson Sá Aug 22 '10 at 17:41
Ah, /opt it is then. Thanks. – Simon Aug 22 '10 at 17:59

All software unique to a given box go under usr/local. The binaries go under bin, lbraries go under lib, config files under etc, and so on. So It is not right, that software creates subdirectories in /usr/local/bin, and it is not right to create a subdirectory in /usr/local.

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so when i download firefox and it extracts to a 'firefox' directory where do i put it? – Simon Aug 22 '10 at 17:23

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