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I'm aware of this post but what I would like is to configure the software center to install software in ~/local/ for example, not to modify the system's policy about who's allowed to install packages... Is it possible? (on LTS 12.04)

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No, this is not possible. You cannot install the pre-built binaries in a location other than the one where they were intended to be installed.

Many packages, and other parts of the system, depend on certain files being in certain locations, for things to work properly. In some cases, when applications are compiled into binaries, they have certain paths compiled in, where they may expect certain other files to be. Those files must be in that location for the application to work properly.

  • Isn't that why usually, when you compile packages locally, you have to specify a prefix (eg ./configure --prefix=/home/me/local)? I mean, the ~/local could just replicate the structure of /usr/ and there wouldn't be any ambiguity in the includes/linkages unless we install a package that's already in the system... Does that make sense? – Sheljohn Jan 27 '14 at 18:13
  • No, you can't simply shove everything in '~/local/` and expect it to work, even if you use the same directory layout as in /. – dobey Jan 27 '14 at 19:10

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