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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Re: Re: Troels
by Iggy Drougge on Sat 10th May 2003 17:27 UTC

AFAICT, what Adam suggests is that the filesystem itself replaces that database, so the user can just look at the filesystem to find out what is going on (one package - one directory). This makes package management unnecessary (some form of dependency tracking is still necessary, but that can be treated separately), thus making the system itself more robust. *)

Not to mention that it goes very well along with the most basic UNIX philosophy which goes: everything is a file. When someone says package manager, while referring to UNIX, I come to think of the licence managers of HPUX and other commercial UNIX systems. It's a bit similar to the Windows registry, too, isn't it?
(Oh, but the users will never want to go there... ;-)

OTOH, I don't think that any particular directory structure should be forced onto the user. Think of the Mac or the Amiga. A system folder or partition, and the rest being left for the user to decide. That goes for applications as well as data.
A clear, logical directory structure should be enforced for the system files, though. Sometimes, you will, or want to, dive into that region, and that shouldn't be as complicated as a car engine without good reason.

But leave the rest of the system free, for the user to populate. Don't litter "/" with lots of system directories, put them together. Putting /etc, /usr, /bin and what have you in the root is conventient for the sysadmin on a multi-user system, since his job is dealing with all these files, but they're just cluttering the file structure for the single user.
Everyone's got his or her more or less optimal way of handling their own data and programs. As pointed out by Rainier, some users organise their data by file type or file suffix, others organise their data along with the relevant programs. That's good for them, let them to that instead of having the system putting files away the way it finds it the most convenient.