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Compiling/Using a Linux source on Mac OS X

I want to install NEAT C++ on my Mac, yet there is no distribution that supports OS X.

Can I manually install this?

The source contains a bunch of c++ header files and a Makefile to generate the neat executable.

I'm thinking to place the executable in /usr/bin/ and the header files in usr/include/neat.

Is this the right way to do this? (I'm asking before trying, because I don't want to mess up my /usr/ tree any mor than it already is).

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marked as duplicate by slhck, 8088, Simon Sheehan, studiohack Nov 18 '11 at 4:38

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Ah, I see now that your question is slightly different. Did my answer still work for you? – slhck Nov 2 '11 at 15:38
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Don't install your own software to /usr/bin. This is reserved to the distributor (here: Apple). Use /usr/local (and its subfolders) instead.

For installing dependencies (couldn't find any information whether there are some), think about using some package manager like macports, homebrew or fink.

If you've sucessfully built neat on Mac, maybe adding it to some package manager to allow others to use your time invested it getting it running?

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To answer your second question, years and years of experience tells us that installing something that wasn't part of the standard distribution "should" be installed in /usr/local instead of /usr. That allows a clear demarcation between what is a standard installation of the core OS and what's been added by the "local" user.

Is there a correct way to do it? Of course not. However, come time to remove said application, it's generally easier to tell (at a glance) if it's something you installed yourself if it's in /usr/local rather than /usr. For some flavors of Unix (particularly Solaris), it was /opt rather than /usr/local. However, each of those is merely a convention. If you only have one user on the system, you could also just install it in your home directory.

However, that's just convention. Though the more and more I play around in the development world, the more I realize that Convention >> Configuration.

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Another option is to install in /opt/neat

/opt is for optional programs. The advantage, you don't mix with other things in /usr/local/. It makes it easier to uninstall or update the package. The downside, now you need to configure multiple locations for software.

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