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Re: /var/spool/mail and now /var/mail

On Fri, Feb 01, 2002 at 10:51:50AM -0500, Jake Di Toro wrote:
> At 01:21 PM 2/1/2002 -0200, Henrique de Moraes Holschuh wrote:
> >The deal is that new systems get /var/mail, and old systems get a /var/mail
> >symlink to /var/spool/mail.  All Debian packages are now to try to reference
> >the spool as /var/mail, but the old configuration (/var/spool/mail) is fully
> >supported.
> Is there somewhere that explains the reasoning behind this??  I've only 
> been in *nix for 10-12 years and on every system I've been on it's been 
> /var/spool/mail (until I went to cyrus).

Debian changed it in accordance with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard
(the FHS; install the debian-policy package and you'll find it in
/usr/share/doc/debian-policy/fhs/fhs.html/). That says:

  The logical location for this directory was changed from /var/spool/mail in
  order to bring FHS in-line with nearly every UNIX implementation. This change
  is important for inter-operability since a single /var/mail is often shared
  between multiple hosts and multiple UNIX implementations (despite NFS locking
  It is important to note that there is no requirement to physically move the
  mail spool to this location. However, programs and header files should be
  changed to use /var/mail.


Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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