Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 30th Jan 2012 20:39 UTC
General Unix Finally something really interesting to talk about. If you've used UNIX or any of its derivatives, you've probably wondered why there's /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin in the file system. You may even have a rationalisation for the existence of each and every one of these directories. The thing is, though - all these rationalisations were thought up after these directories were created. As it turns out, the real reasoning is pretty damn straightforward.
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RE[5]: Wow, That Was Simple
by saso on Tue 31st Jan 2012 15:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow, That Was Simple"
saso
Member since:
2007-04-18

Then you fix the bloody bootloader.

Easier said than done. There's a good reason why bootloaders have this limitation - they are meant to be simple. Higher-level raid volumes can have complicated geometries and be spread over a host of interfaces and buses. Trying to support all but the most trivial configurations will result in a serious set of problems in the bootloader stage (e.g. having to duplicate the entire volume+FS layer of the OS in a rather limited space) with little to no gain.

Wherever you want. Seriously, you can create your own directory structure and put whatever you want there, and then you can add this to the users' PATH ahead of /bin. There is absolutely no reason for every Linux distribution coming with a predefined place for something which is actually a very rare occurrence.


Lots of systems I manage have site-local overrides and having them in custom locations, rather than a well defined one will result in more confusion than order. Arguably, the situation now isn't much better and could do with some improvement, but it's always about finding the proper mix of freedom and regulation.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Wow, That Was Simple
by Alfman on Tue 31st Jan 2012 21:57 in reply to "RE[5]: Wow, That Was Simple"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

saso,

"Lots of systems I manage have site-local overrides and having them in custom locations, rather than a well defined one will result in more confusion than order. Arguably, the situation now isn't much better and could do with some improvement, but it's always about finding the proper mix of freedom and regulation."

That seems to be the critical issue doesn't it? After all, if you want to store different applications on different file-stores, they need to go in different mount points.

But in my opinion this is not the best solution, we only resort to it because linux doesn't give us other options.

What we need is the ability to store different applications in the same directory on different file-stores. By keeping storage and organization separate, we'd be free to use the best organizational structure for us without overloading it for storage based requirements.

All programs would use the exact same directory structure whether they're distro-specific or user-specific, and whether they're installed on the local system or the office lan, etc.

Unionfs technologies enable these kinds of setups. While they've been around for many years as kernel patches, the linux admins steadfastly refuse to merge them into the stock kernel.


The best one could do to create a unified directory structure without a unionfs is to use the separate mount points as we do today, and then create a script to symlink all the apps individually into a common namespace.

Reply Parent Score: 2