Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Aug 2008 23:33 UTC, submitted by Charles Wilson
Editorial GoboLinux is a distribution which sports a different file system structure than 'ordinary' Linux distributions. In order to remain compatible with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, symbolic links are used to map the GoboLinux tree to standard UNIX directories. A post in the GoboLinux forums suggested that it might be better to turn the concept around: retain the FHS, and then use symbolic links to map the GoboLinux tree on top of it. This sparked some interesting discussion. Read on for more details.
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I like the idea
by Moredhas on Tue 19th Aug 2008 00:01 UTC
Moredhas
Member since:
2008-04-10

When I first started using Linux, I was confronted by dozens of virtually incomprehensible folders outside of my home folder. I know my way around, vaguely, now, and the names sort of made sense, but it's still a bit of a shock to new users. When I heard about Gobo about a year ago, I liked the idea, but I didn't want to move to another distribution. The fastest way to propagate the idea would probably be to write a shell script that creates all the necessary symlinks in almost any distribution. That way, people can try the new hierarchy on for size without leaving their current comfort zone.

Reply Score: 7

RE: I like the idea
by Doc Pain on Tue 19th Aug 2008 01:00 in reply to "I like the idea"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

The fastest way to propagate the idea would probably be to write a shell script that creates all the necessary symlinks in almost any distribution. That way, people can try the new hierarchy on for size without leaving their current comfort zone.


This idea isn't generally bad, but its major problem would be the inconsistency of the naming conventions and hierarchy layouts among the different Linux distributions. While most of the arbitrary (but well intended) names of directories are quite the same, their content or their presence may differ. For example, some distributions feature /opt, others don't; some place libraries here, others there.

(By the way, PC-BSD has done something similar to FreeBSD with their packages installed via the PBI system - introducing /Programs while keeping the compatibility to the standard system hierarchy.)

While I do like this concept in general, sometimes I feel if there's a need to do this. On one hand, the users who are familiar with the Linux / UNIX file system hierarchy don't need (and even don't want) complicated names for the places they need to access; on the other hand, novice users who nearly generally live within their home directory feel no need to dive into the system's hierarchy - why should they?

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: I like the idea
by ari-free on Tue 19th Aug 2008 01:33 in reply to "RE: I like the idea"
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

"its major problem would be the inconsistency of the naming conventions and hierarchy layouts among the different Linux distributions."

That's the problem with the many distros. One distro can't rock the boat as long as everyone else offers the safe status quo.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: I like the idea
by irbis on Tue 19th Aug 2008 14:54 in reply to "RE: I like the idea"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

This idea isn't generally bad, but its major problem would be the inconsistency of the naming conventions and hierarchy layouts among the different Linux distributions.

Gobo Linux isn't meant to be a mainstream distro for everyone, but advertises itself as a Linux distro for relatively advanced users (= a minority. So basically this could only be a problem to those few experienced Gobo Linux users who already decided that they like the Gobo ideas, and so likely not a huge problem for them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I like the idea
by hobgoblin on Tue 19th Aug 2008 05:24 in reply to "I like the idea"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

what you could do is install rootless, and basically have gobolinux live in your home dir.

thats how gobolinux got started btw. hisham needed a way to manage software compiled inside a home dir on a terminal server.

then it got scaled up to do a full system, initially based on transforming a red hat install iirc.

but later on it was recreated using linux from scratch. and thats the basis of the gobolinux we have today.

Reply Parent Score: 6