I have an issue with Linux Mint saving things to root and not the home directory. I need assistance with this, a friend is being rather persistent about it. Every time a package is installed it defaults to the root directory instead of being installed to the home directory.

  • 2
    If you're installing packages from Mint, that's perfectly normal. Could you edit your question to clarify how you're installing packages, and why your friend thinks they should go to /home? – Stephen Kitt Sep 7 '16 at 15:36
  • He has 6GB of root and 277GB in /home because it was originally supposed to be for all the things he would install. – nerd7473 Sep 7 '16 at 15:42
  • I set up the drive in the same manner I set up all of my Linux Systems. Root, home, and swap. – nerd7473 Sep 7 '16 at 15:42
  • @nerd7473: Only 6GB of root? Well, these open-source operating systems give you so much freedom that it's easy to make rookie mistakes. It's a learning experience, isn't it? If reinstalling is not an option, you could read the mount(8) man page to learn to set up a bind mount, but I believe that you would find this frustrating; hard to make it do what you really want in your case. If possible, it would probably be best to repartition and reinstall. Good luck. – thb Sep 7 '16 at 15:52
  • Alright, I'll try to delete the /home and expand root. Or I'll help him to shrink /home and then expand /. – nerd7473 Sep 7 '16 at 15:54

In a Debian-derived system like Mint, DEB packages are not meant to be installed in a user's home directory. They are to be installed by the system administrator for systemwide use.

Even if a package could be installed in a user's home directory, the package would not work after being installed there. Rather, a package is to be installed systemwide.

When installed systemwide, a typical package foo might place

  • an executable program at /usr/bin/foo,
  • a set of configuration files in /etc/foo/,
  • auxiliary files needed by the executable program in /usr/lib/foo/ and/or /usr/share/foo/,
  • documentation in /usr/share/doc/foo/,

and so on. Then, if the program maintains persistent or runtime data, that goes in /var/ and/or /run/. It's pretty complicated. That is why the software is packaged, so that your friend does not have to deal with all that complexity.

Now, some unpackaged software can, with sufficient effort, be installed in a user's home directory (if not in /usr/local/); but for most users, most of the time, that would be a special case.

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