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Re: FHS and /var/www

On Monday 21 July 2008 06:16:16 pm Steve Langasek wrote:

> The process for deploying content under apache with the current settings is
> "copy it to /var/www".  If we used /srv/www as a default, the process would
> be "mkdir -p /srv/www && ..."  I don't think that's a hugely significant
> difference.

from packages it is definitely not, or at least i would not sponsor any 
package doing that.  and in my personal experience we usually change the 
docroot or use aliases for our site-specific docs anyway.

while it has never been made "official policy" the web applications draft 
policy explicitly states that packages should not place files in *any* non 
standard (wrt FHS) directories, whether it be /var/www or under /srv[1].  the 
policy has at least some street cred though, as it shows up in the 
developer's corner and may be reference in the dev reference.

instead, packages should install data/files in standard locations 
(/usr/share/package/htdocs, /usr/lib/package/cgi-bin etc), and use the 
various alias/scriptalias features available from just about any modern 

for the few if any httpds that do not provide this functionality i think it's 
acceptable to not have the application working by default and have a note in 
README.Debian saying what to do (or a reasonably sane debconf interface for 
doing it)

> Well, I think the possibility of running afoul of incompatible local
> configurations is a pretty good reason not to use /srv/www as a default, so
> I think that's absolutely a policy issue.

honestly, given the above, i'm not too keen on either location.  there's a 
historical precedent for the current behavior, but i don't know whether that 
makes it justified to continue it.  however, if the docroot does shift 
to /srv/www, i would still put my lot in for making any package that actually 
puts files/dirs there (httpds included) instabuggy.  why not remove the 
directory entirely (whereever it is) and have a custom 404 for the location 
saying "welcome to your new server" instead?

	sean (with his dusty debian webapps team hat on)


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