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Re: A section for commercial software?

On Monday 21 May 2001 16:33, Wichert Akkerman wrote:
> Previously John Hasler wrote:
> > If the packages are going to be managed by dpkg, why not put the files in
> > the usual places?
> Because they aren't provided by the OS (Debian in this case) itself,
> but by a third party.

If they are managed by the OS (dpkg) then why not have them in the same place?

Having the software in /opt does not save any problems.  If there are 
name-space collisions then it's no more annoying to have the same binary name 
provided by two packages for /usr/bin than to have one provide /usr/bin and 
the other provide /opt/bin!

Having the software in /opt does create problems, not least of which is the 
additions to PATH and MANPATH required.  Recently I was managing a network of 
about 40 Solaris machines which had different collections of software 
installed in /opt/package .  So I had to write a cron job which did
"find /opt -type d -name man" to generate the correct value for the MANPATH 
in a shell scriptlet that was sourced by /etc/profile.

Then in the /etc/profile which was common to all machines I had lots of the 
sections like the following:

if [ -d /opt/program/bin ]; then

It was very messy and a PITA to set up, so much of a PITA that until I 
arrived the machines had all had different values for PATH and the MANPATH 
was almost always wrong.  So most people just didn't use the man pages and 
shell scripts tended to fail if moved between machines.

If you get a copy of Oracle for Linux then /opt may be the best place for it. 
 For anything smaller and easier to manage than Oracle (which means almost 
everything) then a Debian package which uses the regular directories under 
/usr is probably best IMHO.

I have made many Solaris packages which install files in /usr/bin, /usr/sbin, 
and /usr/share/man and installed them on quite a number of machines.  I have 
not discovered any practical problems with doing this.

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