Re: File Systems.
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 22:30:51 -0500
From: "Robert W. Current" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I would like to open a discussion on the merit of moving "packaged"
userland software out of /usr/bin and to a different FHS compliant area.
At last some of your arguments really should belong on the FHS
discussion list, and have already been discussed on the FHS list. You
may want to look at the FHS discussion archives before continuing this
discussion, so we don't end up going over the whole set of arguments
again and again and again each time a new person joins lsb-discuss....
Although I understand that the de facto standard for some of the larger
Linux distributions uses /usr/bin as the default location for software,
I feel that /usr/bin growing to several G of software is a real problem
point for system administration. Furthermore, the convention is not
completely standardized, shown by the use of /usr/local by distributions
such as Slackware.
Many distributions are using /usr/bin as where they put
distribution-provided file, true. I haven't seen one where /usr/bin has
grown to several gigabytes, myself. But in any case, this is outside of
the scope of the LSB. The LSB is really about what services, libraries,
etc. are provided by distribution-provided environments which a 3rd
party software provider can count on so they can provide a binary
application that will work on any LSB-complaint distribution.
As far as where the LSB-complaint application should be installed,
that's a matter for the FHS, which currently allows both /opt installed
applications and integrated /usr installed applications. It is agnostic
on that point. (Which is good, because we've already had the religious
wars on the fhs list about which is better, and I'd rather not get
another denial-of-service attack on my mailbox by replaying that whole
Finally, I will note that the FHS does state that /usr/local is reserved
for the local administrator, and that a distribution is not allowed to
popuate files in /usr/local. Slackware is in violation of the FHS, but
then again Slackware has never taken FHS compatibility as being
important. Just about all other distributions I'm aware of are FHS
compliant, though, so I would tend to consider Slackware to be an
outlier, and simply just a minor exeception case.
I feel that this issue would be best addressed by people with long term
experience in system administration, instead of people speaking on
behalf of de facto standards imposed by Linux distributions. This will
allow an intelligent discussion of a potentially useful default
"exportable" location, as well as a good feel for what essentially
useful tools should go in /usr/bin, and where "local system only" but
not "essential" files, scripts, and applications should be placed.
Again, we've had this discussion on the fhs-discuss list. There is a
place for that in FHS 2.0; it's called /opt. However, we currently
don't presume to dictate to 3rd party application providers whether they
have to use /opt or not.
I claim this is the correct choice, and that to dictate that 3rd party
applications *aren't* allowed to use /usr/bin is an imposition far worse
than you've accused the LSB of committing.