When installing applications via the software center or by a DEB file they will usually be installed system wide for all users.
Is there a way to install an application for a single user only?
Depending on what you want to accomplish, there may be different ways to make this work (or at least give a hacky semblance of the functionality you want).
Installation of software in many ways comes down to making resources available, or allowing access to things that are already present on the system.
Whether you are talking about granting access to printers, or allowing a user to execute programs in a certain directory, there are ways to accomplish this, and though they may be native to Ubuntu, these kinds of solutions are generally (of course) going to be added after the fact of a .deb installation.
Here are two general classes of post-installation control that can be added. Note that, given the right environment, e.g. when a tightly controlled group policy is in place, this might be easier once you have the basic system in place. These kind of permission can even be tied to LDAP or a similar system which can give per-user or group authentication and authorization.
Removing the executable bit from directories eliminates the ability of processes to search or traverse them. It can effectively render them invisible, and user-wise, make them unavailable. If you have a default system policy which creates menus based on file access, for instance, you can get this kind of cosmetic solution in place, and then have it work for subsequent installations with little additional effort.
The only thing that jumps to mind is just extracting the package and trying to place the files manually in the home dir.
However this will only work for some things. Plenty of packages are split into chunks (executables or scripts in
You'd do much better just to grab a non-packaged version from whoever writes the software. Almost all free software is available in some form of compressed archive as source so grab that and just build it. You don't do the
I don't know too much about this subject, but it seems from the other answers that you may be able to install a package to another directory instead of
To install a package for a user other than
Disclaimer: I did not try this, and do not have much experience at the time of writing with
Links which have information which may be useful for people who want to achieve the effect of
I now have done a little bit with things which touch on this subject, and found out some more...
Fragments (local environment building blocks):
Full (complete local environment providers):
Summary: By emulating, or actually having, root privileges locally, DEB packages can be installed for a local environment.
You can probably use the
In short, I don't think there is an easy way.
You could change the executable file's ownership so that only one user would be able to run it. Then, if needed, you can remove the application from the menus of other users.
The deb's are mainly archives that get extracted to the root of your filesystem when installed (plus some config). If you wanted to install them just for one user, you would need to somehow install them to /home/user folder. Even if you did so, they wouldn't work, as f.e. application binaries won't land in /usr/bin (or sth similar), and system will not find them if you'll try to launch them. Similarly libraries etc. would be useless, as the system wouldn't know there are somewhere in the /home. You could try the brute-force approach, and adjust the PATH variable to point to wherever you extracted the files from the deb archive, but that would be not only VERY insecure, but might cause may compatibility problems (f.e. menu entries wouldn't work, as GNOME extects the .desktop files to be in /usr/share/applications).
Moreover, if you installed a package just for some users, it might cause crazy dependency problems, if any other user installed package that conflicts with another one you have had installed just for yourself - and possibly tons of other package management related issues would appear.
All these troubles make it extremely difficult to manage packages separately for users, so it seems it's not possible to install them just for one user, because the idea behind the .debs disallows that.