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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RE[2]: Do we care? Really?
by DrillSgt on Tue 19th Aug 2008 07:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Do we care? Really?"
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

"We care once we have to install new fonts to LaTeX and somehow figure out that these are installed in /usr/share/texmf/fonts/... or something similar. Moreover, since that directory is protected against ordinary users, you have to have sudo access. Good luck if you're not the administrator and he thinks he has more important things to do than install your font."

Well, actually, to use your example, fonts can be installed in the home directory without SysAdmin interference.

We usually do not "think" we have more important things to do btw, as our job is to make sure the network and servers are up and running. You can install your font without issue on any major linux distro, by yourself, without assistance and without hacks.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: Do we care? Really?
by jack_perry on Tue 19th Aug 2008 12:44 in reply to "RE[2]: Do we care? Really?"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

I think you (and most of the respondents) are missing the point, and I didn't mean all admins personally. In fact many of them have much more important things to do than install fonts.

The example is meant not about LaTeX per se (which I like and use every day) but about where it is normally installed, and how the OS interfaces with the user in ways that make no sense except to insiders, when alternative conventions are available.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Do we care? Really?
by DrillSgt on Tue 19th Aug 2008 17:24 in reply to "RE[3]: Do we care? Really?"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"The example is meant not about LaTeX per se (which I like and use every day) but about where it is normally installed, and how the OS interfaces with the user in ways that make no sense except to insiders, when alternative conventions are available."

You are right, I did miss your point. In another post I mentioned the reason behind the different bin directories, /bin and /usr/bin specifically is what I mentioned. I definitely agree it would be much easier and less confusing to have a single /bin directory. It could be called whatever you wanted it to, though to me bin (short for binary) makes sense, as it tells me there are binary files in that directory. The names all came from the days when you had to use short names. The only thing I am adverse to is making it like other systems because people refuse to learn.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Do we care? Really?
by Gunderwo on Wed 20th Aug 2008 01:05 in reply to "RE[3]: Do we care? Really?"
Gunderwo Member since:
2006-01-03

I also wasn't disagreeing with your assertions about the filesystem being unnecessarily complex. I agree with a lot of the points you have made.

I was just pointing out that globally accesible file locations for anything are a security risk. I was just using your font example to point that out.

The biggest issue with improving FHS is inertia. Trying to change something that works, even if not optimally may "cost" more than just fixing it. Think of the cost of fixing all the software that has made assumptions about the locations of certain files. Hence trying to point out that something could be better will constantly be met with arguments of why to keep it the same. Legacy is a bi@tch.

I admire the intentions behind GoboLinux and I understand the reason for the path they have chosen using symlinks. It's a hack, but in order to maintain compatibility with a lot of software it's a necessary evil. I just sometimes wonder if the cost is really worth it. Is the existing FHS really so bad, is it costing us so much that we should undertake the cost needed to make everything work in a more elegant fashion. I don't have the answer, I'm just re wording the question.

Reply Parent Score: 2