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I'm going full Linux for in my laptop (Fedora 24 at the moment). I'd like to clear some confusion about applications ownership and what entail.

I installed Chrome from the rpm on the official site. DNF did its thing and installed it in /opt/google/chrome. Now, since I used sudo dnf install...the owner of that folder is root. Is is a good idea to change the ownership to the standard user?

I ask this because of this: I installed JDownloader (it's a Java-based download manager), still from rpm still using sudo dnf install at the end of the installation it started the application automatically as, I guess, root user. I modified the settings, choose the download folder and tested a download. All worked. Later I launch the application from the desktop icon, as standard user I suppose. The download couldn't start because the user didn't have permission to write in the download folder. Ok, I changed it to the standard user. All worked fine. And then I though, what if I change settings in the application as a standard user? The changes didn't survive the application's restart.

I then changed the ownership of /opt/jd2/ to the standard user and I could manage to save the settings.

My question is: "Should applications under /opt retain the root ownership or it's ok to change it?" Chrome didn't have any issues when I was using it as a standard user when its owner was root, JDownloader did.

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It depends, the ownership (usually) does not matter from a functional point of view, however:

  • If root owns it then it minimises the chance of rough or buggy software modifying it.
  • If you own it then it can update it self, when you are running it (but not other users).
  • If …
  • Ok I get this, but I find difficult finding a "rule" to whether keep the installation folder of an application owned by root or change it. Another example: I'm installing Matlab. I can run the installer either as standard user or as root. If I run it as standard user the default installation path /usr/local/MATLAB/R2016a is inaccessible. But if I install it as root how do I know the limitations I will have once I run the program as a normal user? – Crysis85 Jul 4 '16 at 8:20
  • What limitation are you expecting? – ctrl-alt-delor Jul 4 '16 at 14:40

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