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Re: File Systems.

On Thu, 16 Mar 2000, Robert W. Current wrote:

> Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 22:30:51 -0500
> From: Robert W. Current <current@hel-inc.com>
> To: lsb-discuss@lists.linuxbase.org
> Subject: File Systems.
> Resent-Date: 17 Mar 2000 03:29:37 -0000
> Resent-From: lsb-discuss@lists.linuxbase.org
> Resent-cc: recipient list not shown: ;
> 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.
> The reasons for this are to allow more structured and organized
> standards of systems administration, similar to those found in some of
> the BSD flavors.  Hopefully, this can be done without making Linux into
> a BSD system.
> 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.
> 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.
> -- 
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You are right in princip, but i would suggest to reflect on this sample.
let's loock to the near garden.
in IRIX the GPled software goes, just to make order,
in /usr/free/bin, instead that /usr/bin. That increase confusion.
You have a double ps and so on.
in HP-UX all the non system software, (read not included in HP
bundle), goes in subdirectories in /opt. 
so you have /opt/gcc /opt/emacs /opt/libpcap /opt/readline /opt/tcpdump.
It would seem ordered, but there are to much entries, system
not using HP tools becomes difficoult.

This is not a de facto standard imposed by distribution, but 
software that comes with get system should goes in /usr/bin.
as software that comes with the sistem i mean also gcc all compilers
stuff, and similars, everything is the old A Ap D N E series of older 
software for X11 /usr/X11R6 (X XAp Xd)
tradictional directories are /usr/openwin (Xv) /usr/dt (CDE)

special packages in /opt (kde gnome staroffice)
in /usr/local i would put what i compile from sources by
myself. It is structured like /usr. 
If i upgrade from software something that is already in /usr/bin
i will just set up path for an installation in /usr if i want to
overwrite, otherway i will remove the old package and keep the new one in 

this way you will keep  a really ordered file system.
You do not need to increase subdirectories and opaths...

The problem is that packages are becomming biggers and biggers.
The confusion comes from this problem.
I have in /usr much more files that i was
used to have in older linux distributions
and in other Unixes.
That is why global packages that are i kind of per se applications,
like kde or gnome should go in /opt/kde /opt/gnome, because to have them
in /usr make just more
files, and more confusion (have a look in /usr/share on RedHat  or
That would be coherent. Slackware is not coherent keeping kde in /opt/kde
and then gnome in /usr.
Every application that has his own filesystem structure, like kde but also
XNI, also syscadp, StarOffice, and so on, should go in /opt.
Remember that for CDE they have been so smart to put it in 
/usr/dt, to avoid confusion.
As a ge general rule we could say, "every knind of optional environment
(such as also X11) has it's own directory. to keep the tradition we have
/usr/X11R&, /usr/openwin, /usr/dt, then we have everything else in
/opt(suggested but
not obbligatory, i could want to put my software in /usr/cleopatra)".

Luigi Genoni


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