Re: FreeBSD-like approach for Debian? [was: Re: Deficiencies in Debian]
Tuesday, September 14, 1999, 8:55:02 AM, Daryl wrote:
> now one of the things i have always disliked about the linux
> distros is the tendency to install *everything* as if it where part
> of the base operating system. i believe that installing optional
> packages under a well defined and seperate file system (whether
> it be /usr/local or /opt) offers significant advantages, especially
> if those packages are installed as self-sufficient entities, that is
> under one main directory, with (if necessary) symlinks to the package
> from the more traditional directories, i.e. a link from /usr/bin/foo to
What advantages would those be? I am curious.
What I am seeing is a clash between the traditional model and the Debian
In the traditional model everything was done by the SysAdmin. So when he
wanted to upgrade the "base" OS it was advantageous to have all his hard work
in a separate (usr/local, /opt) tree. In this way, he could just wipe the
"base" OS, reinstall, be done with it.
The Debian model, however, doesn't have the SysAdmin compiling a ton of
different things. What few things that admin compiles can rightfully go into
/usr/local. The reason for that, now, isn't so he can maintain a seperation
of "base" and "optional" but is so that what he does doesn't interfere with
what the package manager does. /usr/local can not, does not and should not be
touched by the package manager. /opt, IMHO, should be soft-linked to
/usr/local and forgotten, but that is just my opinion. :)
So it comes down to this, define "base". What is "base" to you? "Base"
in the traditional model are the bare minimum tools needed for the OS to run
at a minimal level of functionality. That is what the "base" packages are.
"Base" OS, in the Debian model and from my perspective, is anything installed
by the package manager.
That is why I ask what advantages you see? I've had this debate with a
friend of mine off and on for months. He hasn't come up with anything that
really makes sense other than ideological. Ideological reasons aren't enough,
IMHO, to destroy the current, logical separation or to introduce an entirely
new tree to the file system. /usr for "base", /usr/local for "optional" and
/usr/local/andthistimewemeanit for stuff that is compiled by the SysAdmin
Steve C. Lamb | I'm your priest, I'm your shrink, I'm your
ICQ: 5107343 | main connection to the switchboard of souls.