Checking /usr/local/ before upgrading

Fergal Daly fergal at
Sun Oct 28 12:21:12 UTC 2007

On 28/10/2007, Reinhard Tartler <siretart at> wrote:
> "Fergal Daly" <fergal at> writes:
> >> I'd really suggest to install your special libraries, local software
> >> etc. either to /usr/local/$PACKAGE or /srv/local/$PACKAGE or somewhere
> >> else. You can use environment variables or rpath to make them work.
> >
> > So when should anything go in /usr/local?
> >
> >
> >
> > contains this paragraph
> >
> > "However, because /usr/local and its contents are for exclusive use of
> > the local administrator, a package must not rely on the presence or
> > absence of files or directories in /usr/local for normal operation."
> You have correctly quoted me. I suggested to install /usr/local/$PACKAGE
> instead of /usr/local. This means for a package called 'foo', you would
> use `configure --prefix=/usr/local/foo` instead not using any prefix.
> Or you just install it in your ~ `configure --prefix=$HOME/local`. Or
> somewhere else.

Sorry my question my question was unclear.

When should anything go in /usr/local/{bin,lib}?

In your example /usr/local is used, however it is no longer has a
special meaning because you put nothing in /usr/local/bin or
/usr/local/lib etc, so what's the point?

There is clearly a desire for people to put different (as in not the
distro supplied) software in a standard location so that it can be
picked up easily by users without interfering with the correct
operation of the whole system. Putting each package in its own
sub-directory (whether in /usr/local/FOO or somewhere/else/FOO) does
not achieve that as people have to add a new PATH entry for each
package. In fact the FHS says you should have nothing in /usr/local
except bin, lib etc - I'm not even sure if Ubuntu believes in the FHS,
if not, ignore this sentence, the prior argument remains.


> --
> Gruesse/greetings,
> Reinhard Tartler, KeyID 945348A4

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