There are a lot of questions that mention /usr/bin. I think it would be really advantageous to Ask Ubuntu to have a code-processor such that nothing modified or copied to /usr/bin.

Installing stuff to /usr/bin is always a bad idea, and unfortunately it will always "work" right after.

In fact, ideally we would not be targeting /usr/ outside of /usr/local at all. The default utilities do it, and every time I see a novice try to be helpful when mentioning these system directories I end up gritting my teeth.

  • 2
    So you want the system to auto disallow /usr/bin?
    – Seth
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 6:45
  • disallow, or warn. People should not be installing to or modifying /usr/bin. Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 8:44
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    You haven't explained why this is bad or what we should be doing instead. Complete your argument and we can consider it.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 8:53
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    There are a great number of questions that mention /usr/bin that aren't in the scope of installing something there. I think a better idea would be to come up with a nice comment with informative links, telling people that only OS packages should go to /usr/bin, /usr/lib, ... and that site installs should be put in /usr/local or other locations. I understand what he's getting at here, a lot of people don't realize where non-OS packages should actually go.
    – Tim Post
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 14:05
  • @Oli because /usr/bin is reserved for system use -- managed by the distro, and /usr/local/bin is expressly not managed by the distro (nothing via apt will modify /usr/local/bin, eliminating conflicts). Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 17:03

2 Answers 2


I went through each one, a bunch were closed/duped answers which I flagged for removal, that only leaves a few. If you feel strongly about it you can submit a fix to the answers to use /usr/local instead.

13 answers in ~3 years is pretty rare considering the amount of posts we have, so I wouldn't say we need a bot or something.


Wouldn't it be more auspicious to start putting together queries for the database browser for issues and just adding some maintenance feeds for people that are earnestly concerned? For example '/usr/bin', 'WATCH!!!', 'rm -Rf', etc.

It takes it "out of system" and gives interested parties a way to do things without asking for a system change. You personally can always define "risky behavior" and handle queries for it on your own. Maybe an AU meta question for "Useful queries for site maintenance"? I, for example, already put together a little script to parse dumps for common dupe targets and dropped it on AU Meta here. I thought it might be useful for site maintenance, so I shared it.

In the near-ish future, I'll have a VPS that I can automatically grab dumps, run the parser, and publish a list. If more of us did things like this, we would have some killer tools.

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