installing software to places like /usr/local

Daniel Pittman daniel at
Fri Dec 15 05:26:55 UTC 2006

"Simon Schuster" <significants at> writes:

> I'm really new to all this, so I'm unclear of how even to check if
> it's possible, but for instance, I'm installing the java runtime
> environment from the self-extracting .bin ... 

Note: this is not a good idea; suitable packages for the Java runtimes
exist in Ubuntu as documented here:

I will carry on, though, on the assumption that you were using that as a
specific example of a general question...

> and I'm realizing how much of this sort of thing will have to end up
> in my home directory, 

In my experience self-extracting packages of whatever sort follow the
traditional Unix model:

 * they assume you are the super-user to install them
 * they install into one of /usr/local or /opt
 * they generally behave relatively politely

Almost none of the self extracting stuff out there will install into
your home directory at all, and less of it by default.

The Java code /may/ be an exception.

> or does sudo also take care of the write permissions? 

Not as such, no.  What sudo does is change the user that runs the

That change may, or may not, result allow it to "take care of write
permissions" -- root can write anywhere, for example.

If you were intent on installing commercial software then running the
installer as root will, typically, be necessary, and will also allow the
software to install into the global tree.

> not that this is a problem, it will just result in a really mucked up
> home directory and a distant, alien and unused /usr one. :)

Your question or comment here isn't really clear to me.  Perhaps you can
restate it in a different fashion?

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