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Re: binaries for different architectures in debian packages

I don't read the Debian Devel list all that often, as it's traffic rate
is far too much for me to keep up with. ;-)  In any case, I was referred
to your post by the Debian Weekly News article on it (you're pretty
popular right now).  I would have to agree with posters that suggested
you follow the standard FHS recommendations for file placement: binary
files in a /usr/lib subdirectory, architecture independent files in a
/usr/share directory, etc.

The reason I say this is because coupled with dpkg's ability to specify
the root directory for installation, sharing files over the network can
be customized by the operating system tools available.  For example,
using NFS with NIS or LDAP and the automount daemon can automate
mounting for diskless clients to the correct, architecture-dependent
(/usr/lib) shares as well as the architecture-independent (/usr/share)
shares.  Installing packages under /srv/arch-os and /srv/common is a
real possibility.  As a bonus, you can use the same root directories
with all (most) Debian packages for all of your diskless clients.

A trick with mount, the --bind option, would allow you to bind the
/srv/common/usr/share directory to /srv/arch-os/usr/share.  NFS, Samba,
and Netatalk wouldn't know the difference, allowing you to mount
/srv/arch-os as your root filesystem for arch-os.

You just need to be careful about how you split up your packages.  Using
an arch-independent package for the /usr/share files (a common package)
and arch-dependent packages for the /usr/lib files should make this type
of setup easy.

The NFS/NIS book by O'Reilly is a great place to start for planning a
network shared infrastructure.  Pay particular attention to some of
automount's mapfile structure and its ability to specify programs to
resolve shares and mount points.

Chad Walstrom <chewie@wookimus.net>           http://www.wookimus.net/
           assert(expired(knowledge)); /* core dump */

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