View Full Version : Linux directory structure

12 December 2003, 07:00 PM
I'm learning to use linux and I'm a bit confused about what goes where and what kind of permissions users have.

Some programs go into home/dvornik, some into usr/bin, some need to be installed as root, some don't. Many programs just run out of the folder where I downloaded them without any installation whatsoever. Browser plugins come with installers that only work for some browsers and need manual install for others.

Some packages automatically show up in the K menu, some don't.

I often get permission errors while moving files around (like pictures from a digital camera) or trying to execute things...

Eventually i end up with a major mess on my hands. Is there a structured approach to this? Feel free to point me to an appropriate website. So far mandrake's own forum was the most helpful site I've found.

I'm using Mandrake 9.2.

12 December 2003, 07:43 PM
Yes it's quite a pain in the butt ;)

Lot of Linux software doesn't require an installation of any sort and will run from whatever folder it's in provided you have permission to execute it.

Here's some tips.

bin is short for binary. Binaries are executables. So any software you want to execute should be in a /bin directory.

Usually software for any old system user is placed in /usr/bin software that is only for admins goes into /usr/sbin (the s menaing "super user" or whatever).

Each user on the computer is a part of one or more groups. The groups define what a user can and can't have acess to on your system. You can manage users and groups by logging in as root and using KDE's graphical user manager.

To change permissions on a file, executable, or a directory, you have to either use the chmod command or in KDE right click the file and do it through the interface.

This page has a pretty clear explanation of chmod

In KDE's program menu, there is a menu manager that will allow you to add programs to the menu, but I'm on windows right now and I don't know exactly where it is off the top of my head. It's in Utilities or System tools I think.

12 December 2003, 08:06 PM
Thanks. I know where to change the K menu. So you'd say it's a sensible approach to just put a certain program folder to wherever I like and then add a shortcut in the K menu or on the desktop? It's not like I want it to be just like windows, but i need an easy access to everything installed through GUI.

Where do programs like Maya or Shake wold get installed? Would i also need to manually put shortcuts to them? Do they run as any user or do i need to configure permissions? Let's assume it's a multi-user environment.

As an aside I was able to make wings 3d run, but blender crashes the X server right away. Photoshop 7 works reasonably well in crossover office, photoshop 8 can't be installed.

[edit] If I want to make sure ANY user can run a program - what's the best place for it to be? usr/bin? Is the K menu user-specific?

12 December 2003, 08:15 PM
Don't want to open another thread on this - are there any decent linux font management tools? Also any info on linux font management is appreciated.

12 December 2003, 08:23 PM
Check the Computer Help sticky.

12 December 2003, 08:29 PM
Thanks. Didn't know there was a Linux link in there.

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