Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 15:37 UTC
Editorial Earlier this week, we ran a story on GoboLinux, and the distribution's effort to replace the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard with a more pleasant, human-readable, and logical design. A lot of people liked the idea of modernising/replacing the FHS, but just as many people were against doing so. Valid arguments were presented both ways, but in this article, I would like to focus on a common sentiment that came forward in that discussion: normal users shouldn't see the FHS, and advanced users are smart enough to figure out how the FHS works.
Permalink for comment 327769
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: what is wrong with FHS?
by sorpigal on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 23:18 UTC in reply to "what is wrong with FHS?"
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

Quite apart from this article's somewhat demented rantings, there really are problems with the FHS. None of them have anything to do with being cryptic or unfriendly to average users.

Here are a few:

Configuration goes in /etc/. Which files go in /etc/ and which go in their own subdirectory of /etc/? If /etc/ is for settings, why does /etc/init.d/ contain scripts? (Set aside for a moment a debate about the fine line between a config file and a script.) Under what circumstances is configuration stored in /usr/lib/appname/ and/or /opt/appname/etc?

Libraries go in /lib. Or is it /usr/lib? Which libraries go in which directories? Why does some libraries get stuck in /usr/lib/appname/? Why are some, sometimes, under /opt? Why do I sometimes see a /lib/firmware--is a firmware blob a library? Where does the FHS say firmware goes?

Does each program get installed into /usr/lib/appame? If so, do you symlink from /usr/bin to the binary or place the binary directly in /usr/bin? If I'm using /opt do I symlink or adjust the system PATH? What's the difference between /opt, /usr and /usr/local? What about games, where do they go?

What is /mnt for and what directories will you find under it? What is /media for? Where should /floppy and /cdrom really? be located?

Is there any structure to /tmp? What is the structure of /usr/local and what determines which programs are installed there? What's the difference between /usr/doc and /usr/share/doc?

What directories can I expect to find in /var? How do I decide whether a file should be created in /var or /tmp? If I have a web site where should the files for it be stored?

If you think you know the answers to some of these questions I have a surprise for you: *every unix does some of them differently and even distributions of Linux can't all agree*. The FHS does not even attempt to answer some of these questions except in mostly useless ways.

Reply Parent Score: 7