relatively new Ubuntu user here (but very familiar with OpenCV use on Windows). Having read this post:

What is the Linux equivalent to Windows' Program Files?

It's clear that there is not a direct Ubuntu/Linux equivalent of "Program Files" or "Program Files (x86)" in Windows.

For OpenCV installation, I followed this page:


which essentially involves going to here:


and running 3 scripts:




This works like a champ with Ubuntu 16.04, however I'm not clear on which directory to perform these steps from and therefore have the install located in.

If I open up a terminal by default it goes to the home directory for the current user, in my case for example that would be "/home/cdahms"

This seems like a very bad place to locate an OpenCV download/build/install (still not sure which to call it, again, relatively new to Linux) for at least the following reasons:

-The home directory is often used for other stuff and locating OpenCV here may result in inadvertent modification at a later time
-If a computer ever has multiple users it does not seem to make sense to place OpenCV in a certain user's home directory
-A home directory does not seem like a proper directory for a software install generally speaking

Based on this:


line 41:

set(CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX "/usr/local" CACHE PATH "Installation Directory")

I'm under the impression that I should cd to "/usr/local", then run the above OpenCV install script. Is this correct? Where are most Ubuntu/OpenCV users installing to?

Note: I should mention that I'm NOT using the apt-get package "libopencv-dev" since that is on OpenCV version 2.4.9 currently, which is about 3.5 years old now. Does anybody have any ideas as to why this package is not updated more often?

  • 1
    I suspect it unpacks the source code to /home/cdahm, but actually installs the software to /usr/local - did you look there (/usr/local/include and /usr/local/lib) Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 13:00
  • Good call. Following the above process (running the install-opencv.sh script) from the home directory resulted in installing OpenCV content to "/usr/local/bin", "/usr/local/include", "/usr/local/lib", and "/usr/local/share/" . So, I did "sudo mv /home/cdahms/OpenCV-3.2.0 /usr/local/src" and now everything is out of the home directory and into "/usr/local". For anybody else reading this for future reference, it would be best to run the "install-opencv.sh" script from "/usr/local/src", then it would not even be necessary to move anything.
    – cdahms
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


for what it is worth, when I used Linux Mint 18.3
~ $ sudo apt-get install libopencv-dev python-opencv
I found python-opencv directory in /usr/share/doc/ directory and it also created /usr/share/OpenCV

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