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Re: Understanding /root, /usr, /var and so on

Andrew Cady wrote:
> A little research reveals that the original AT&T Unix contained no
> /sbin; however, the traditional contents of /sbin were present in /etc,
> mixed with configuration files.  4.3BSD placed these files in /etc also,
> but 4.4BSD moved them to /sbin, reserving /etc for configuration files
> only.
> Apparently the BSD folks decided in retrospect that mixing binaries with
> configuration was a bad idea.  But why not put them in /bin? 

Just a guess, but a lot of the commands in /sbin require root
privileges. If you put them in a separate place you can exclude them
from a user's path. The same goes for /usr/sbin I suppose.

It's not perfect though: /sbin/ifconfig is very useful to non-root
users, but it's not in the path. Another example would be /sbin/lsmod
(which a non-root user would need to get help on the mailing lists ;-)

George Borisov

DXSolutions Ltd

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