Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

4.9 /usr/local : Local hierarchy

4.9.1 Purpose

The /usr/local hierarchy is for use by the system administrator when installing software locally. It needs to be safe from being overwritten when the system software is updated. It may be used for programs and data that are shareable amongst a group of hosts, but not found in /usr.

Locally installed software must be placed within /usr/local rather than /usr unless it is being installed to replace or upgrade software in /usr.[footnote 23]

4.9.2 Requirements

The following directories, or symbolic links to directories, must be in /usr/local

"Local hierarchy"
Local binaries
Local game binaries
Local C header files
Local libraries
Local online manuals
Local system binaries
Local architecture-independent hierarchy
Local source code


No other directories, except those listed below, may be in /usr/local after first installing a FHS-compliant system.

4.9.3 Specific Options

If directories /lib<qual> or /usr/lib<qual> exist, the equivalent directories must also exist in /usr/local.

[23] Software placed in / or /usr may be overwritten by system upgrades (though we recommend that distributions do not overwrite data in /etc under these circumstances). For this reason, local software must not be placed outside of /usr/local without good reason.

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Translated by troff2html v1.5 on 29 March 2002 by Daniel Quinlan