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Here's the issue:

I have Google Desktop for Linux in a .deb file, and I have an account on a server without su privilege. I would like to install Google Desktop on the server just for myself, in my home directory, but the .deb file wants to install to /opt, and it wants su privilege. I don't know why it wants to do that--can't it just let me put it in my own home directory?

It would also be nice if other users could install their own instances of Google Desktop as well, in their own respective home directories.

I don't think this is possible, but if anyone can help that would be great.


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Have you tried with --inst option of dpkg? From man dpkg:

  Change  default  installation directory which refers to the directory where 
  packages are to be installed. instdir is also the directory passed to chroot(2)
  before running package's installation scripts, which means that the scripts see
  instdir as a root directory.  (Defaults to /)
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This still requires superuser privilege though. – John Peter Thompson Garcés Jul 27 '12 at 14:15
BTW, when Google Desktop is installed normally, it seems that it is installed for every user, but each user gets their own port on which their version of Google Desktop runs. So you'll get one instance of Google Desktop listening on port 36765 and another on port 36841 etc. I suppose that was Google's solution for having different instances for different user accounts. – John Peter Thompson Garcés Jul 27 '12 at 14:22
Then simply unpack .deb file and try to run the binary executable. Although, asking your system administrator to install this program for you (without any workarounds) would be better. – Denis Jul 27 '12 at 14:46

Try this:

$ dpkg-deb -x google-desktop-linux.deb /home/john/google

From the dpkg-deb manpage:

   -x, --extract archive directory
          Extracts the filesystem tree from a package archive into the specified directory.

          Note that extracting a package to the root directory will not result in a correct installation! Use dpkg to install packages.

          directory  (but  not  its parents) will be created if necessary, and its permissions modified to match the
          contents of the package.
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