OSX: ./Users/myname OR. /usr/myname ? 1) what is the truth on UNIX ./usr/ directory.

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# 1  
OSX: ./Users/myname OR. /usr/myname ? 1) what is the truth on UNIX ./usr/ directory.

OSX uses its own directory strecture on the BSD core, for example /Users/Bob_Alice/. but legacy Unix structure /usr/... remains. Adding confustion, some Unix books say /usr/ was never intended for specific users. and others show it being used for Bor or Alice. I am not sure where to put my third party apps on my Macbook, trying to keep my things as neat and simple as possible. Is there no real answer to any of this. Whatever works for each s/w package?
# 2  
Putting ordinary users on a system directory tree (disk or lun) is not a great idea.
Why?

Example: Users do dumb thing like inflate a bunch of compressed files, causing the disk to be full. Having a full system disk is not good at all. Filling the users disk is annoying but not a potential system problem. Put the user directories where they cannot cause problems.

Next - sysadmins have different ways of handling applications. They generally add new directories for the application and separate new directories for runtime (shared) libraries. This requires a change to the PATH variable and also to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable (or whatever OSX uses now). Again, keeping this stuff off the /usr tree is the best approach.

Example:
Oracle does this as part of installation, and creates special variables that you add to the system-wide .profile file. So any oracle system has a simple way of getting those variables set to a default during login. And these directories are not put on the /usr tree by default.
# 3  
Hi.

There is no single place, noting that Jim makes a good point about system disks.

There are some generalizations, however:

1) I have had stuff that I have purchased ( e.g Canvas, TheBrain, etc.) go into /Applications,

2) I have had some stuff from the App Store go into /Applications/Utilities,

3) Things that may be user-contributed that come from brew, fink, and port seem to be distributed like this ( from a local search utility, in which we placed notes about destinations ):
Code:
 Results for program brew (key "b")
 ( brew writes to /usr/local )

 Results for program fink (key "f")
 ( fink writes to /sw )

 Results for program port (key "p")
 ( port writes to /opt/local )

On a system like:
Code:
OS, ker|rel, machine: Apple/BSD, Darwin 16.7.0, x86_64
Distribution        : macOS 10.12.6 (16G29), Sierra

Best wishes ... cheers, drl

Edit 1: correct minor typo.

Last edited by drl; 09-14-2017 at 01:31 PM..
# 4  
I was always told to keep out of the /usr filesystem for user files. The way to remember it was that it is user shared readables. User home directories should reall be in /home or somewhere else that is not critical to bringing up the server.

Keeping the OS defined areas clear reduces the risks of errors, filling up something critical (and not being able to boot easily) or generally slowing down OS operations because of user IO. Similarly, applications should have their own filesystems to work with for segregation.



Just my opinion though.
Robin
# 5  
I may be waaaaayyyy off base here, but I had always considered /usr as a receptacle for things that aren't part of the base OS.
As there are /bin and /sbin, there are /usr/bin and /usr/sbin. These are for third party additions of binaries or scripts.
Likewise, /usr/local/bin and usr/local/sbin for things the user creates for themselves.

Third part application bundles though, should go in /Applications for all users, or /Users/username/Applications (not a thing, by default, and the applications have to be able to handle that location, too).

What reeeeeeealy bugs me is the undefined status of what is an Application, and what is a Utility. Smilie
Smilie
# 6  
Hi.
Quote:
Originally Posted by [MA]Flying_Meat
...What reeeeeeealy bugs me is the undefined status of what is an Application, and what is a Utility. Smilie
Smilie
One source:
Quote:
Utility software is system software designed to help analyze, configure, optimize or maintain a computer.[1] It is used to support the computer infrastructure in contrast to application software, which is aimed at directly performing tasks that benefit ordinary users.

Although a basic set of utility programs is usually distributed with an operating system (OS), utility software is not considered part of the operating system, and users often install replacements or additional utilities.
Excerpt from List of utility software - Wikipedia

Referred from What are considered utilities and applications? - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange -- q.v.

Best wishes ... cheers, drl
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