Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 15:37 UTC
Editorial Earlier this week, we ran a story on GoboLinux, and the distribution's effort to replace the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard with a more pleasant, human-readable, and logical design. A lot of people liked the idea of modernising/replacing the FHS, but just as many people were against doing so. Valid arguments were presented both ways, but in this article, I would like to focus on a common sentiment that came forward in that discussion: normal users shouldn't see the FHS, and advanced users are smart enough to figure out how the FHS works.
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RE[3]: what is wrong with FHS?
by google_ninja on Sun 24th Aug 2008 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what is wrong with FHS?"
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

This is really something (along with the lib/ problem) that I find a bit strange in Linux. In BSD, there's a differnce between "the OS" and "installed packages", while Linux does not have this kind of separation. BSD puts system's stuff in /etc/, and local (not to the system belonging) parts in the respective /usr/local/etc/ directories. You can conclude the nature of a file from its name and it place within the file hierarchy.


From what I understand, local is for stuff compiled on that machine. Although, that does seem a less arbitrary way to seperate things.

This one continues the aspect mentioned before. Some Linux distributions have /opt/, others don't. In some cases, the purpose of lib/ and share/ subtrees is merged, too.


The idea behind /opt is lets say I have kde 3 and I want to try kde 4, but not as a full time thing. I want it somewhere that is easy to blow away, but at the same time I don't want to put it all in my home dir. /opt is a place to stick stuff you want isolated from the rest of the system.

What is /mnt for and what directories will you find under it?


/mnt is intended as a temporary mount point for the system administrator (according to man hier).

What is /media for?


/media is intended for (usually auto)mounted media, it contains a subtree for the devices (e. g. /media/cdrom, /media/dvd, /media/stick) or mountpoints are created from a label provided by the media itself or by the class of the drive (man geom).


I really hate this. Saying /media is for stuff the system mounts, and /mnt is for stuff that i mount basically means i have to think about who mounted the thing i am looking for every time i go looking for it. Why did /media have to be created in the first place? the more oldschool automounting stuff never had a problem sticking everything in /mnt

Reply Parent Score: 2

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

From what I understand, local is for stuff compiled on that machine. Although, that does seem a less arbitrary way to seperate things.


Err, no, at least not from a BSD standpoint. This is due to the difference between "the OS" and "anything else" I did try to explain before. Let's assume you're rebuilding your kernel and system, so it would be "compiled on that machine", but because it's the system, it would go to the designated directories. If you install a package of software, you don't compile anything. So everything you install *after* the base OS (which's content is well defined in its basic distributions, for example base, man, dict) will go in /usr/local where you have the same subtrees that the system uses itself: bin/, etc/, share/, lib/ or include/.


The idea behind /opt is lets say I have kde 3 and I want to try kde 4, but not as a full time thing. I want it somewhere that is easy to blow away, but at the same time I don't want to put it all in my home dir. /opt is a place to stick stuff you want isolated from the rest of the system.


Ah, that's another interesting interpretation of what /opt should be for. I haven't seen /opt for many years, but I think it was some S.u.S.E. Linux that had KDE in /opt/kde by default.

I really hate this. Saying /media is for stuff the system mounts, and /mnt is for stuff that i mount [...]


At least according to "man hier", /mnt is reserved for the system administrator for temporary mounts. In most cases, /media is used, and due to the concepts that KDE and Gnome propagate, i. e. to make media accessible as soon as it is available, most of the content in /media gets automounted. I don't have such services, I do have to "sudo mount /media/pd" or similar. This depends on the paradigm a Linux or BSD (or a desktop environment installed on this system) does follow.

[...] basically means i have to think about who mounted the thing i am looking for every time i go looking for it. Why did /media have to be created in the first place? the more oldschool automounting stuff never had a problem sticking everything in /mnt


And remember the traditional mountpoints in the root directory, such as /cdrom or /floppy you mentioned. Furthermore, there have been concepts of creating mount points for media within a user's home directory, for example ~/mnt/dvd. Or subtrees in /export that lead to different hard disks that do contain home/, share/ or dist/ subtrees.

Missing consensus.

Reply Parent Score: 2