I guess it's also a matter of personal taste, but since I'm starting with a fresh 10.10 install I thought maybe this time I'll keep my system more organized.

What is/are the conventional place(s) to store software and applications?

I have some stuff I get using git (e.g. bioperl), there are some apps I simply download and extract to some place (e.g. eclipse) and obviously I install software using apt-get.

Where is the conventional place to put all of these?

3 Answers 3


The traditional places to install additional software is either /opt or usr/local See also the other similar question

  • yeah, I recommend use /apt, this folder like "pogram files" in windows, make new folder in this folder, ex : /opt/eclipse, then put everything from your eclipse archive. and maybe you can create the eclipse launcher (eclipse.desktop) in /usr/share/applications. This method can ensure that the system is kept clean.
    – squallbayu
    Oct 15, 2010 at 14:45

For software installed via package management you do not need to care where it is installed, you will only manage it with some package management software like apt-get, aptitude or synaptic anyway.

The usual places are, as already mentioned by txwikinger, /opt and /usr/local. I would generally put software that I compile myself into /usr/local, as that has the usual directory structure (bin, lib, ...) already in place. Big software that expects a directory of its own I install into /opt, I think that is the original intent of that folder.

I'm also using a folder for small, self-contained applications in my home folder for some apps, mainly because my home folder is on a seperate partition that I keep when reinstalling the system. So I don't have to install those applications again.


like everyone else said, the package manager will put things where it needs them to be put.

I tend to have a projects/ folder where I checkout my random git projects.

Eclipse likes to keep its projects in workspace/ Depending on how much development I do under eclipse I would do something like $HOME/workspaces/{AndroidStuff, CrazyRandomIdeas} depending on if the things I'm working on should be in its own workspace or is a small project.

Also, occasionally I like to install things in my $HOME since i'm just playing with things and don't want to pollute my filesystem, which I tend to put in $HOME/local. Again this is just my style.. but I end up with

      bin/  -->symlinks to binaries I installed locally and added to $PATH
      local/  --> local installs of applications, libs etc. 
      projects/  --> git check/svn checkouts etc of random code. 
      workspace/ --> eclipse stuff.

Try not to install anything in your root filesystem (/) unless you package it. It's a royal pain to uninstall things, (there's always a make install but rarely do you ever get a make uninstall). Also, that's the entire point of a packaging system, to keep track of your programs, files, configs, etc.

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