Organising /Home

This is really a pre-install question as I’m on Kubuntu atm but planning going openSUSE 12.1 KDE x64 full time.

What’s the best way of organising /Home in relation to installed applications. Every modern distro seems to dump program files all over the operating system and looking in /Home in a file manager set to ‘unhide’ makes searching for what you want time consuming.

I’d like to tidy /Home up by using an ‘Applications’ folder and put all application files in there under one roof. How do I do this? Can I just drag and ‘Move here’ existing files with no consequence? …I’m thinking not :stuck_out_tongue: Same goes for applications from package manager, how do you instruct it to dump files off in an ‘Applications’ folder and not /Home?

So what’s the best way forward if you’re slightly anal about keeping things in order?

Thanks.

You can’t move system files to /home (not /Home) without breaking the system so give up any such ideas. However you can create application launchers from your own desktop.

What appears to you as untidiness is actually methodical. Linux is a multiuser operating system. Applications are shared by all users. So you do not “own” the applications like that other OS.

I said create a folder ‘Applications’ >> /Home/Applications

Instead of application folders and files (.libreoffice for example) being dumped off in /Home. Because when you go to navigate files and folders in /Home in a file manager, it’s a mess.

david banner wrote:
> This is really a pre-install question as I’m on Kubuntu atm but planning
> going openSUSE 12.1 KDE x64 full time.
>
> What’s the best way of organising /Home in relation to installed
> applications. Every modern distro seems to dump program files all over
> the operating system and looking in /Home in a file manager set to
> ‘unhide’ makes searching for what you want time consuming.
>
> I’d like to tidy /Home up by using an ‘Applications’ folder and put all
> application files in there under one roof. How do I do this? Can I
> just drag and ‘Move here’ existing files with no consequence? …I’m
> thinking not :stuck_out_tongue: Same goes for applications from package manager, how
> do you instruct it to dump files off in an ‘Applications’ folder and not
> /Home?

When you say ‘program files’ do you mean the applications themselves or
do you mean document files created by the applications or do you mean
private application space (‘dot directories’)?

If the first, then as Ken says, forget it. The applications aren’t
dumped at random and it can get very complicated if you try to move them.

If the second, then there’s probably a folder in your home directory
called ‘Documents’. Many applications will store files there, either by
default, or if you tell them once. Others can be configured to do so but
unfortunately there’s no single place to do it. You’ll need to figure it
out for each application.

If the third, then it may be possible to move the dot directories of
some applications but again, you’d need to do it one by one. And you
probably can’t move them all. And moving any may break various helper
scripts (such as when you next upgrade or apply a patch). So I wouldn’t
recommend trying.

I do agree with you that it makes a mess of file manager listings. There
should be a check box in the listings dialog to turn hiding on and off
whenever you want, rather than it being a configuration option, IMHO

david banner wrote:
> I said create a folder ‘Applications’ >> /Home/Applications

BTW, as Ken said, there is no such thing as /Home

Hey I’m only going off what my file manager looks like, so you’re probably right. And if what you say is right that it’s not actually worth trying to do what I want, then so be it, I’ll not bother trying, and stick to the hide / unhide thing. I’ll either get used to it or not, no biggie. Thanks anyway.

File names starting with a . (dot) are not shown by default by many tools/applications. This is done especialy so that the user is normaly bot bothered by those files. The idea being that those files are normaly created/maintained/changed by the the applications or by their configurating GUI interfaces for internal use of those applications (user dependant data, each user has his own set of them in his own home dirctory).

Thus it is quite normal to switch the showing of those files (often called Hidden Files by file managers and the like, but that is in fact an MS-DOS expression) off (which is often the default). Most users live quite happily with this.

And again: you most probably mean not /Home, but* /home* and even not that, but the users home directories (which are by default within* /home*).

Habit , I guess. First thing I did in Windows, all those years ago and ever since, was ‘unhide’ everything. It’s the only way I learnt where things were, how things worked. I’ll figure linux out this way too…with the help of a book or three. lol.

It’s very easy.

You start with the source code for the applications. Then you go into the pre-compile configuration for that source code and change as desired. Then you compile.

If you really wanted to do this, you would be running gentoo or something similar. Since you are running openSUSE, I suggest that you rethink the whole idea.

Well, looking under the hood is not a bad thing in itself. But you should not then complain that you see too many bits and pieces and then start throwing them out of the car.

Instead you should try to understand why they are there and why they are in that place. Thus better ask here (when your book or three fail to unveil that) then grabbing a wrench.

In other words, you should only open the hood (let the file manager show filenames starting with a . (dot)) when you are at a learning session. And close he hood when you are doing “normal” work (like answering mail, managing your bank account, sorting your pictures, whatever people have a computer for).

And as a by-product, try to understand that there is a difference between upper and lowercase characters in certain alphabets like Latin, Greek and Cyrillic. Which is again something that Windows fails to do.

As you are using KDE, if you want links to applications, simply put a link to each application in ~/Desktop and then Add the Folder Widget; all the links that are in your ~/Desktop folder will appear inside the widget (which you can resize to suit the number of icons you want to display). Note that you can include command line applications by selecting the Advanced options in Properties>Application.

If you want to see all the files all the time, F8 in KDE unhides everything.

Actually if I had the dedicated spare time to do a Gentoo install from scratch, that’s exactly what I’d do. I got half way through one last year and learnt a lot, I just went cross eyed at the time it took. I’m not averse to compiling and getting into dependency hell. In one way I’m looking forward to using Zypper after reading up about it.