Working in a Unixy system, I am often confused by where to store downloaded packages.

For example, I'm trying to install Spark on OSX, following these instructions.

When I get to tar -xvzf spark-1.1.1.tar, I wonder if I'm really supposed to do this in /Users/me/Downloads, which is where the downloaded tar package has automatically stored itself.

Is this really the best place to store the package, or is there a conventional place to put them?

I periodically clear out my Downloads folder, so I worry that deleting the original files might cause problems.


While developed by the Linux Foundation, the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is intended to be applicable to Unix-like operating systems in general.

According to that standard, "optional application software packages" should be stored in /opt.

However, you will also find that many programs distributed in source form will install themselves to the directory structure in /usr/local (such as /usr/local/etc and /usr/local/bin), which is supposed to be a "Tertiary hierarchy for local data, specific to this host".

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