From Lew Pitcher on Tue, 01 Dec 1998
Hello from the Great White North.
A few months ago, I installed the Slackware 3.3 distribution on a second-hand 486 system, and upgraded the kernel to the (then current) 2.0.35 level.
I've been slowly accumulating packages (like Smail and iBCS) that I'd like to put up on this machine, and have a question about the placement of package installs. Given that I've acquired a system-level package with source code, where in the file system should I install it?
From inspection, it looks like I've got several alternatives... /usr/src looks like the obvious place to start, but /usr/local also looks good. Do the Linux FileSystem Standards specify a place to put packages? If not, do you have a recommendation in this regard?
The Linux FHS (File Hierarchy Standard --- the descendent of the FSSTND --- filesystem standard) does have guidelines for system administrators and distribution developers and maintainers.
I would say that the latter groups (those who produce and maintain general purpose distributions and packages) should be strongly encouraged (nigh on required) to follow these conventions. Sysadmins should be encouraged to follow them to the degree that makes sense for their site. Home users can do whatever the heck they like.
I suggest '/usr/local/' for normal freeware packages that I install from tarball and compile myself. For commercial packages that are distributed as binaries I recommend '/opt' (which is, in my case, a link to '/usr/local/opt').
One of my continuing gripes about Red Hat and Debian is that there is no easy way for me to "partition" my packages such that all packages installed or updated after the initial OS/program load (IPL) default to installation on '/usr/local'. This, and the fact that I sometimes have a perfectly legitimate reason for concurrently maintaining two or more versions of a given package are my main gripes about those package management tools.
The canonical home of the FHS seems to be:
- Filesystem Hierarchy Standard
Thanks in advance for the advice.
If everyone has an angle, why are most of them so obtuse?
Shouldn't that be JOAT (jack of all trades)?