/usr/local/src

Posted by on 4 January 2022

As of late last year, when my work gave me a System76 Linux machine I'm now officially 100% on Linux both at work and at home. I'm also a programmer and on both my home and work machines I have a directory under my $HOME called dev where I store all of my coding projects. Most of the apps I install come from a package manager like apt, however from time to time I find the need to compile a project from source. For example, I use Emacs as my coding editor and occasionally there will be a new feature available on the main branch that is not available in the current shipping package. Right now that is project management that will be available in v28 but the current shipping version (as of this writing) is v27. If I want that feature then I have to build Emacs myself. The question is, where do I put this project because I don't really want it in my $HOME/dev directory with all my own projects.

Linux has developed a standard directory structure called the FHS or Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. In this standard they have defined a directory /usr/local with the following definition "The /usr/local hierarchy is for use by the system administrator when installing software locally.". Below that directory they have src, and this directory is designed for exactly this purpose. So if you're ever wondering where to put 3rd party code that you want to build from source, or maybe even some library that you found a bug in that you want to fork and put up a PR, this is a great place to do it so it doesn't interfere with your own projects.

Tags: #linux

Categories: #technology