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.
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Not so fast...
by lykwydchykyn on Sun 24th Aug 2008 04:46 UTC
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I have no problem with any distribution monkeying around with any aspect of Linux they want to, FHS included. FOSS is about evolution, and we have to create "mutants" if we want to find the "fittest". If every distro did things the same, the software would never evolve.

But I think the criticism of FHS is overblown. What bothers me most is how narrowly some folks look at Linux. There's this mentality of "all this junk is from the server days, now we all run Linux on our laptops so we can throw it all out". I happen to like the fact that I can put /usr on an NFS mount. Maybe that's useless to the average myspace user, but I don't see why it makes a difference to them whether all the executables are in one directory or seventeen.

Really, why does it matter? Why does it matter if firefox is in /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin? As long as both are in your $PATH you don't need to know anyway. The only times I can think of that I needed to know where an executable was, I was doing things no "average user" would do.

A few other notes:

- /srv is standard on Novell SLES, it's used for the webroot, ftp root, and similar. I wish more distros would use it (Hello Debian? Why is the webroot in /var???). Granted, in 99 out of 100 other cases, Debian sticks to the FHS better than SLES (ahem.. KDE binaries in /opt? What?)

- /etc is not English. It's Latin. Maybe we should create a FHS using all Latin terms. At least nobody would be getting favoritism.

- /usr/local is used by most Linux systems for packages that are compiled locally as opposed to being installed through the package manager. To me that is more useful than trying to create an artificial distinction between "OS" and "apps".

- I wonder how many of us linux admins are guilty of inventing our own TLD's and stinking up the situation even more. Yep, I look guilty...

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