I use the command line a lot to download and install applications. I've always downloaded into the /tmp directory then installed to another directory.

But where is the place to install such applications? For example, I was just downloading MongoDB (a database application similar to MySQL).
And I had no idea where to put it.

Where should such applications be installed on Mac?
Whats the conventional way?

  • Also, you could use a package manager like homebrew - brew.sh and it has one command install of mongodb and handles where to store things for you systematically. – bmike Jan 30 '14 at 13:17

As OS X is a UNIX OS at its core you can usually use the installers that come with the open source tools you've mentioned.

Quite often there's some way to install them, usually there's 3 steps to configure, compile, and install the tools.

For stuff like databases and other UNIX tools they might need stuff in a number of places.

In contrast to that a typical Mac application will be just one self-contained application bundle that's supposed to go in to your /Applications folder.

Though it can as well run from your Desktop, Downloads folder, etc. ...

| improve this answer | |
  • The installation instructions for MongoDB are here (docs.mongodb.org/manual/tutorial/install-mongodb-on-os-x). It says to optionally move the extracted archive to another folder (which I will need to do anyway because it's currently in the /tmp folder). But where would be the conventional place to put it? There is no package installer for MongoDB so I'm having to do it via the terminal. – James Jeffery Jan 29 '14 at 15:01

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