Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th May 2009 19:17 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Ask OSNews is apparently quite popular among you guys; the questions just keep on coming in. Since David took on the first two, we decided to let me handle this one - it's an area I've personally covered before on OSNews: file system layouts. One of our readers, a Linux veteran, studied the GoboLinux effort to introduce a new filesystem layout, and wondered: "Why not adopt the more sensible file system from GoboLinux as the new LSB standard?"
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Down with the FHS
by kurenai on Thu 28th May 2009 23:53 UTC
kurenai
Member since:
2006-01-24

Linux user since redhat4 here. I understand the history of the FHS, and why each folder exists. I understand there are benefits. I also think it's an obfuscated, outdated load of crap and there's no reason why we can't figure a new structure that has the benefits of the old system, but is innately more comprehensible.

Why bin? Because that's where your 'binaries' are, right? oh, except there are programs now that are text files run through an interpreter, so that doesn't really apply. A user's files aren't under /usr, my webserver by default isn't under /svr, it's under /var/www. /etc? Yeah, something about etcetera really says 'config files'. Seriously, who thought /etc was a good name?

Names have one purpose: to DESCRIBE an object. That's what the FHS pretty much universally fails to do these days, is accurately describe things in modern, understandable terms. How can anyone argue against making folder names more accurate to what they contain? How is making things LESS comprehensible, better?

I tried Gobo a few years ago and found that a lot of the programs weren't very stable. Maybe they've corrected that, I don't know, haven't had a chance to go back to it and play around. I definitely am rooting for *anyone* going back and rethinking some of the ancient eccentricities in the *nix world that should've been left back in the 70s.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Down with the FHS
by rajj on Fri 29th May 2009 00:58 in reply to "Down with the FHS"
rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

Why bin? Because that's where your 'binaries' are, right? oh, except there are programs now that are text files run through an interpreter, so that doesn't really apply.


It's not worth quibbling over such a distinction. No matter what name you choose, there will be exceptions unless you just want to call it 'stuff'. 'bin' is short, concise and easy to type.


A user's files aren't under /usr, my webserver by default isn't under /svr, it's under /var/www.


The choice of usr as a name was questionable, but I'm not really sure what else you'd call it frankly. One reason for its existence is that it should be sharable over NFS amongst multiple boxes.

/svr is suppose to be for read-only files. /var is for read-write. That said, almost no packagers actually follow the spec here. Again, /svr is supposed to be sharable via NFS.


/etc? Yeah, something about etcetera really says 'config files'. Seriously, who thought /etc was a good name?


The stuff under /etc aren't necessarily config files. The init system lives in there for one. Yes, while it is used for configuration, the init script are not themselves configuration files. It also often gets used as a dumping ground for ad hoc scripts written by systems admins for backups, reports, ETC (emphasis intended).


I don't think spelling everything out, capitalization and using naive categorization schemes really adds anything useful. There are 30 years of accumulated wisdom in the current layout. Wanting to throw it all away reminds of me fresh out school CS graduates that always want to throw the existing code base away and start over because everyone before them were obviously idiots.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Down with the FHS
by cb_osn on Fri 29th May 2009 05:46 in reply to "RE: Down with the FHS"
cb_osn Member since:
2006-02-26

There are 30 years of accumulated wisdom in the current layout.

The problem is that it's not really 30 years of accumulated wisdom. It's simply wisdom from 30 years ago. And it provides solutions to problems that aren't applicable to a modern desktop.

This type of thinking is endemic to Linux development. That's why every Linux desktop still runs a graphics stack that favors network transparency over hardware acceleration.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Down with the FHS
by asmoore82 on Sat 30th May 2009 02:40 in reply to "Down with the FHS"
asmoore82 Member since:
2009-03-11

/etc? Yeah, something about etcetera really says 'config files'. Seriously, who thought /etc was a good name?


UNIX 101

/etc = eDITABLE tEXT cONFIGURATION


"N_E_X_T_?"

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Down with the FHS
by sorpigal on Sun 31st May 2009 16:51 in reply to "RE: Down with the FHS"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Ever heard of a backronym? This is one.

Reply Parent Score: 2