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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Member since:

It is unreasonable when the paths don't reflect the legitimate organizational requirements of your distro/system.

Then the question has to be why doesn't the organizational requirements of the distro match the software that will be used with it? All bar a few of the other distros manage it...

You'll have to admit that for many, the hierarchy is full of legacy decisions and exceptional logic, which is a source of chaos.

I don't believe this is the case for people who actually read what the standard is.

The origins maybe, but things are bashed around to fit and have a sensible purpose. It is damn right amazing it is as simple and logical as it is after so much time and evolution. I read it and I could believe someone designed it to be like that today (with typing in mind admittedly), not that it was from over 40 years of evolution. For computers especially, that is damn right gob smacking.

Imagine what it would be like if it was a stack of reinventions. The horror of 40 years of revolutions.

It's not unreasonable to want the ability to clean that up moving forward.

I'm sorry, but you aren't, least not from my point of view. You are creating yet another one, then hiding the standard one you must have, making everything worse for anyone who has to pop the hood.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:


"Then the question has to be why doesn't the organizational requirements of the distro match the software that will be used with it? All bar a few of the other distros manage it..."

That's a good question, with open source software at least one can change the source code and recompile software specifically for the distro. For my distro, I seriously considered doing it, but it became too much work for something that would become an ongoing maintenance burden. Ideally 1) it wouldn't be necessary to modify the source and recompile software in the first place, and 2) one ought to be able to create a singular RPM/DEB which would work across distros. So long as it's necessary to hard code absolute paths in scripts/libraries/binaries, those packages impose legacy paths on the distros which use them. For example, Mint may not have wanted to use the same file system layout as Ubuntu, but since they're using the Ubuntu repositories, they have no choice.

If we migrated to "named resources" instead of absolute paths over time, as I suggested, I think linux app organization would be better off and it would aid distro developers in organizing their file systems as they saw fit.

For the record, it's not a lack of understanding about the current hierarchies, but rather the observation that those hierarchies are based around assumptions about storage which aren't valid for all of us. In other words, it's somewhat of an imposition of third party policy.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabjoe Member since:

Yes, going against the grain is hard. The wood isn't going to change it's nature for you. Others aren't going to use your indirection standard so you can ignore the existing standard. Invisible redirection standard is by redefinition less clear than the filesystem standard we have now.

I think you will find it very fustrating to go against the grain like this. You will just end up raging against others not doing as you ask for your project. Blaming them for your difficulties. Save yourself, if you still can!

Reply Parent Score: 2