posted by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 23:17 UTC
IconGood news from the Linux world. Fedora has announced its intention to drastically alter the file system layout of its Linux distribution. The plan's been out for a while, but was brought to my attention by Brian Proffitt (still the best name ever) over at ITWorld. The gist is to move all binaries to /usr/bin, and all libraries to /usr/lib and /user/lib64.

If you want an even more succinct summary of the plan, it's 'move all to /usr'. Or, more specifically, "instead of spreading RPM package content all over the place in the filesystem, and artificially separate /bin from /usr/bin and /lib from /usr/lib, move all content to /usr and provide only symlinks in the root filesystem."

"For historic reasons, we split-off more and more tools from /usr and put them in /. But, advanced features in today's systems can not really bootup with an empty /usr anymore. More and more fails in subtle ways in such setups," the proposal reads, "Instead of moving more tools to /, we today already require /usr to be mounted from inside the initramfs, to be available before the real 'init' starts. The split of the root filesystem an /usr serves no purpose in Linux anymore and only complicates or prevents simple and more flexible setups."

All this is done in an effort to reduce complexity in an installed Linux system.

"Splitting things up complicates stuff. If you want to keep things separate you really need a good reason for that. We should always focus on simplifying things," Red Hat's Lennart Poettering wrote, "And merging things into /usr does just that: it drastically simplifies the complexities we have collected over 30+ years of Unix heritage."

Sooner rather than later, please. While this might go against the LSB and FHS, it sometimes takes a defiant nature to get things moving again. A simpler and cleaner file system structure can only be seen as a good thing.

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