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Thread: Change permissions on /usr/local?

  1. #1
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    Default Change permissions on /usr/local?

    Is it ok for me to change the permissions on /usr/local and all its sub dirs from owner:root, user:root to owner:me, group:users? I have read that this area does not get touched by updates to openSUSE, is this true?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Change permissions on /usr/local?

    It is your system, thus you can do as you want. But I would never change ownership of any files within the system environment to that of a mere end-user.

    a) It simply should not be needed (you could eleborate a bit on your real problem instead of asking for such bad solution for a problem we do not know).

    b) You never know about the side effects. Nobody can garantee that they can evaluate all the implications. I can imagine one as an example. When you later want to instal a (non openSUSE repo) product that wants to go into /usr/local (and there are many of those), you will have a problem. A problem that that you most certainly will not undderstand at all at that moment in time
    Henk van Velden

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Change permissions on /usr/local?

    Quote Originally Posted by hcvv View Post
    It is your system, thus you can do as you want. But I would never change ownership of any files within the system environment to that of a mere end-user.

    a) It simply should not be needed (you could eleborate a bit on your real problem instead of asking for such bad solution for a problem we do not know).

    b) You never know about the side effects. Nobody can garantee that they can evaluate all the implications. I can imagine one as an example. When you later want to instal a (non openSUSE repo) product that wants to go into /usr/local (and there are many of those), you will have a problem. A problem that that you most certainly will not undderstand at all at that moment in time
    Thanks for the reply

    Good points all, I will take heed. I must admit I already changed them, now I will set it back.

    My most basic need is to make it easier to install local apps and scripts I pick up from the web. One example would be a python cli mixer app I picked up from freecode. Just to get it moved to /usr/local/bin I need to "sudo cp" or "kdesu dolphin" and then change permissions on the file so I can easily run it in the future. Kinda pain to run some simple program.

    Another example is the trend to package up whole complex applications with there libs and the program runs self contained in a folder. This program comes to mind, Aptana | Studio

    So what would be the best practice for these programs? I guess in the latter case the app can go directly in /home. Does one create another whole /bin type structure in your /home directory? I thought that was what /usr/local was for but it is owned by root.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Change permissions on /usr/local?

    You seem to struggle with the fact that you run a multi user system. In a multi user system, applicationa are installed by the system manager to be usable by all thh users of the system. That is where all the directories in the "system" part of the tree are for. That includes /usr/local. Allthough most applications try to use the standards and put there things in /usr/bin, /usr/lib, /etc, usr/share and the like. There was a time when /opt was a choice, but I think that has gone out of usage.

    You have to make a choice. Either you accept that using a full equiped multi user system mat have it's benifits, but also requires good system management practcies. And the you accept that manageing the system as system manager and using the system as user are two very different things (it helps when you think that the user is not you, but your wife). Or you don't and will hae many more proiblems in the future (in understanding and practicality).

    You could however put simple pogram in your ~/bin. Or even in other directiries structure inside your home directory (but then you should add the directory with the executables to your PATH variable). And you can of course also create entries in your desktop menu for them when you like. But that are strictly your (as end-user) applications. And they are not protected against any stupidities done by that end-user (an end-user can not destroy an application that is proparly installed in the correct system place, only root can).

    And you talk a bit lightely about :"apps and scripts (taht are also apps btw) I pick up from the web". ...........
    Henk van Velden

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Change permissions on /usr/local?

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    Agreed to all. Using the "windows-everybody-can-write-everywhere"
    thought process with Linux invalidates the strengths of Linux (strong
    security and a true multi-user system. Linux's background is multi-user
    (windows is not that way, and never has been) and strong security
    (obviously not windows' strength) which is why regular users don't own
    system directories. With that said, everybody wants to have their own
    programs run, so there is the ~/bin (in your home directory, which is
    what the '~' means) for you to put your own stuff, but then it's just
    specific to you and you aren't hosing other users when your script from
    the Internet includes 'rm -rf /' in it somewhere. :-)

    No system is perfect, and we all have our preferences to make things
    better, but you'll do well to learn why the system is the way it is. It
    is commendable that you asked rather than just changing and moving
    forward without any other input.

    Good luck.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Change permissions on /usr/local?

    the Internet includes 'rm -rf /' in it somewhere. :-)
    , ya that would be a good one, course I had to try it out first to see what it did. No no just kidding. I don't really have much of a windows background myself so I can't blame my ignorance on that one. I must be going half blind as well to not see ~/bin, thats what I needed.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Change permissions on /usr/local?

    Quote Originally Posted by anika200 View Post
    , ya that would be a good one, course I had to try it out first to see what it did.
    Not all dangerous things are that obvious (you can't easily detect such a think in a compiled binary), but also often unintended by the original programmer. Not easy to protect yourself against. Much used Open Source products where (hopefuly) many people glanced over the source and (hopefuly) many used the product in many circumstances are the best, but still no garantee.
    Henk van Velden

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