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[3]: Do we care? Really?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 19th Aug 2008 11:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Do we care? Really?"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

I can, either using slots or installing programs on my home directory. I've been running firefox2.x and 3 side by side for some time now on my laptop, and I have different versions of several programs and libraries installed together on my pc at home.


Don't you realise how much you're proving my point here?

Do you get automatic entries in your desktop environment's menu for those two Firefoxes? Or do you have to manually create .desktop files and add them to the menu yourself? Does your package manager know you have two versions of Firefox installed, and does it keep both of them up-to-date? Or do you have to do that manually? Does it work for other programs too?

For stuff like gaim I'd rather quickpkg the installed version and upgrade. Reverting to the previous one is a matter of seconds.


So, for one application you install it manually in your home directory, and for another package you have to resort to specifically creating binary packages manually, install them, and then remove them once you're done? Can you run several binary Gentoo packages created with quickpkg side-by-side? Can your package manager keep track of both of them? Or is it another manual job, just like the Firefox stuff above?

Yeah, real elegant. Another case of massive band-aids and patchwork instead of an elegant design that took all of these features into account from day one. Anything but easy.

Edited 2008-08-19 11:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Do we care? Really?
by ichi on Tue 19th Aug 2008 11:48 in reply to "RE[3]: Do we care? Really?"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Do you get automatic entries in your desktop environment's menu for those two Firefoxes? Or do you have to manually create .desktop files and add them to the menu yourself? Does your package manager know you have two versions of Firefox installed, and does it keep both of them up-to-date? Or do you have to do that manually? Does it work for other programs too?


If I use slots then it does.
If I install manually on my home then it obviously does not (well, firefox updates itself, but that's unrelated).
Then again the point of installing two versions is testing, not day to day usage.

Regarding .desktop files, I don't think I've ever created one of those manually.

So, for one application you install it manually in your home directory, and for another package you have to resort to specifically creating binary packages manually, install them, and then remove them once you're done?


No, I quickpkg the old version and then update the app.
I would quickpkg any app I'm messing with anyway, more so if it's svn stuff.
It's not any more manual than just installing an app, as you can tell portage to do it at the same time.

Firefox autoupdates itself, so I don't care if a test version is being tracked by the package manager or not.

And well, I'll obviusly end removing the version I'm testing if I won't be using it. What would be the point of keeping it?

Can you run several binary Gentoo packages created with quickpkg side-by-side? Can your package manager keep track of both of them?


Sure, that's what slots are for. It doesn't matter wether they are binary packages or not, just the package versions.

Yeah, real elegant. Another case of massive band-aids and patchwork instead of an elegant design that took all of these features into account from day one. Anything but easy.


I find it quite convenient. And easy.
Whatever floats your boat.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Do we care? Really?
by jack_perry on Tue 19th Aug 2008 12:57 in reply to "RE[3]: Do we care? Really?"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't you realise how much you're proving my point here?

Pretty much all the replies defending FHS are proving your point.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Do we care? Really?
by leech on Tue 19th Aug 2008 18:07 in reply to "RE[3]: Do we care? Really?"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I'm confused Thom. On the one hand you say you're an advanced user and you complain that you can't have two different versions installed? You download the tarball, extract it to it's directory, compile it, run it with ./program_name and you're good to go.

Who cares if the package manager doesn't know about it, and who cares if it doesn't create a shiny menu entry for you. The fact of the matter is, that because you're an 'advanced' user, you are not the type of person who should even be caring if the directories are /bin or /Programs. An advanced user would know better.

The FHS doesn't prevent you from having multiple versions of anything. Usually when you download a program, and extract it, it creates a program-name-0.x style folder for you anyhow, so you could still have compiled and running program-name-0.1 and program-name-0.2 etc.

Sounds to me like you're just whining about a non-issue.

If you want to see a proper way that a distribution can use the FHS, look at Debian. Their strict packaging guidelines make sure that there is always a /usr/share/doc/package directory and at least a README in there.

I do agree that not all distributions are as good at keeping it clean and lean as Debian.

The fact that people always say "Oh, but the files are all over the place" really hasn't done any research into Debian's packaging rules.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Do we care? Really?
by mormon on Wed 20th Aug 2008 07:57 in reply to "RE[4]: Do we care? Really?"
mormon Member since:
2005-08-13

1st. You're saying that having 2 versions of i.e. firefox is only for testing new software versions. I want to assure you that it is very common solution for Web developers. You have to test application in different browsers even different versions of browsers.

2nd. You're saying about Debian's way of directory structure. Please try install Tomcat and configure it in Debian. /usr/share/doc isn't the most important in this case.

3rd. Bundle way of handling software would standardize Linux without having multilayer package managers (apt-get is a layer over deb and there are multi-managers which are layers over apt-get).

Reply Parent Score: 0