Linked by Kevin Adams on Fri 9th May 2003 23:04 UTC
Linux "Lately, there has been lots of discussion on the current state of Linux as a desktop system, and articles pop up here and there, occasionally with very good ideas. However, none have surprised me more than this one. It was all very hyphothetical, but had pretty radical ideas on how the author thought the Linux directory tree should be reorganized." Read more about GoboLinux, a Linux distro that uses a new style directory tree at
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Yes, simpler!
by Iggy Drougge on Sat 10th May 2003 09:31 UTC

Adam Scheinberg is right. The orthodox UNIX users are wrong.
On the other hand, who is Scheinberg to force his views of a useful end-user system onto those who are already content with their system as it is?
This whole problem stems from the Linux on the desktop hype. Linux started out as a free UNIX for the PC. As a UNIX, it's got the UNIX legacy stemming from the early seventies, when it was a multi-user mini computer system. People who use Linux, at least adopters before the hype waves of the last few years, use Linux because they want that kind of system.
This whole FS layout debate wouldn't be a matter if Linux were left alone as the PC UNIX it is, or once was. OTOH, if Linux is supposed to make inroads on the single user desktop, Adam's suggestions are very relevant. Not particularly because it is vital to Linux's success on the desktop, because in that case, Windows wouldn't be the big desktop OS it is now, what with its FS layout and program management. However, even if Linux, in its current state, were to make it onto 90% of all desktop PCs, one could still argue that it wouldn't be ready for the desktop, with the user unfriendly FS layout as one such reason. It's about doing it right, something which Linux/UNIX certainly isn't at the moment, not in the desktop context.

I personally find it a bit of a moot point, though. Linux should be kept off the desktop, since any changes in a more user friendly direction will upset its current users, and any attempts to make it better adapted to the desktop task could end up as difficult as just writing a new OS altogether, doing it right from the start. My only fear is that the Linux desktop people will one day manage to put their thing on our desktops, with all the ugly UNIX parts left in, ending up as a new kind of Windows, which is another system with an FS layout from hell (for the end user, that is).