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Say I'm installing Redis.

Where should I download the Redis files to?

I'm guessing that doing it in my home directory isn't a good idea, just because it'll get messy with downloaded files over time.

So, where is the canonical place to download and make such files?

Download instructions never seem to say!

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The question is whether you want to keep them or not. –  slhck Oct 30 '11 at 21:12
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If the file can compile/install itself (e.g. uses make), you can probably download it to anywhere and let the scripts move the files to the correct location. You can surely use the home directory for thar purpose.

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Redis seems to extract itself relative to the download file, not to an absolute location. I downloaded the redis .gz file to the home directory and ran make. Then I ended up with the extracted /redis directory in the home directory, which I don't really want. I moved it manually to /src, but I don't know if that's the right place to put it, and then I wondered if it would have made more sense to download the file to /src in the first place. –  Richard Oct 31 '11 at 9:23
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