I downloaded a binary file for a shell executable, and the corresponding man pages, from a source I trust. Unpacking the archive returns a binary file and some man pages. There's no installer. Which is the "canonical" location to put this kind of stuff? I guess it should be somewhere on my PATH. echo $PATH returns:

$ echo $PATH

Of these, I seem to recall that tampering with /usr/local/ is considered bad practice. Logically, Users/.../google-cloud-sdk/bin:/anaconda3/bin:/anaconda3/condabin also don't seem appropriate. This leaves me with /usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/opt/X11/bin. Which one should I use? Or am I going about this the wrong way?

Also, do the binary file and the man pages go into the same folder? Or do they go to different folder?

PS I really wonder how much effort would have been to add a damn installer....


2 Answers 2


The binary file goes in /usr/local/bin. Each man page goes in the folder usr/local/share/man/manN where N is the number at the end of the man page file name. For example, gdisk.8 should appear in the folder /usr/local/share/man/man8. When finished adding all man pages, you should run the command

/usr/libexec/makewhatis /usr/local/share/man

to update the whatis database stored in the text file /usr/local/share/man/whatis. This whatis text file is used by the whatis and apropos commands.


/usr/local in general is the place to install user-provided unix-like software.

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