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Re: why are there /bin and /usr/bin...

On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 06:30:04PM -0400, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> By the early 1990s this was long since unneeded but people continued
> to do it anyway, and in fact started to think it was done for
> technical reasons rather than because of a simple lack of space in an
> earlier era. At this point (2010), with all of the system files
> fitting in under a dollar's worth of disk space, people tell
> themselves quite elaborate "just so" stories about why the segregation
> is maintained.

You wrongly assume here that every Unix system has a hard drive as its root
filesystem.  Some root devices cost a lot more than a dollar for that amount
of disk.  Some have breakpoints beyond which it becomes an order of
magnitude more expensive to expand the root device.  Some have hard limits
on the size of the built-in media that would take you multiple man-years of
engineering effort to overcome.  Just because the original motivation for
the split is no longer applicable doesn't mean there aren't still technical
reasons to put /usr on a separate filesystem.  The fact that these reasons
are different from the original justification is uninteresting.  It doesn't
make these people fools for taking advantage of this logical separation, and
it doesn't give you any authority to break their systems because you
disagree with the principle.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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