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I downloaded the wget program from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/, and installed it using ./configure; make; sudo make install. It installed the program at /usr/local/bin/wget. What determines where it installs the program at, and can the location of installation be changed?

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wget is already provided by Ubuntu. You don't need to install it externally.

To answer your question, if you read the installation instructions, you will see that you can call the configure script like this:

./configure --help

The installation prefix is determined by the --prefix option. The default is:

--prefix /usr/local

If you would want to install it into /usr instead, you would do:

./configure --prefix /usr

Which is not recommended, since only packages provided by Ubuntu should go there. /usr/local is for stuff you install outside of the package manager. If you install wget from the Ubuntu repository for example, it will be installed in /usr.

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So why does it go into /usr/local/bin, instead of /usr/local? –  Mika H. Nov 19 '12 at 15:17
    
@MikaH. /usr/local is the prefix. That means binaries get installed into /usr/local/bin, documentation into /usr/local/share/doc, etc. You can read about the various directories here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard –  Nikos C. Nov 19 '12 at 16:12
    
Thank you, Nikos C.! –  Mika H. Nov 19 '12 at 16:19

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