[lsb-discuss] tux assistant idea

Mike Hearn mike at mail.com
Tue Feb 4 08:52:58 PST 2003

> The user facing aspects of programs all install themselves into
/usr/[bin/lib/etc] rather than /opt/packagename/[bin/lib/etc]. Culturally,
this is a result of the mid-90's and the practises of RPM.

Yes.... and? Bear in mind simply installing the bulk of a package into a new
directory each time would not give you NeXTStep style appfolders. It would
simply change the on disk layout and mean a bigger PATH.
> Very few 3rd party programs find themselves installing into opt, but rather 
> into usr. So an unfortunate orthodoxy has developed because of practises and
the other parts of the document. Apple has done many innovative things in
taking the old unix /opt and /pkg idea further, but none of this can be seen
on Linux.

That's because the system Apple adopted has serious flaws. It's barely
workable on MacOS, and not workable at all on Linux. There are discussions of
the problems of appfolders here:


and here:


> should LSB be concerned with the interface of how libraries are made
available to third party developers, or with the implementation (loader and
ld.so.conf vs filesystem layout)

They are one and the same, in a sense. Putting shared libs into the same
directory has various advantages, esp in regards to networking settings. There
may be smarter ways of locating the DSOs, but the current system isn't that bad.
> I belong to the latter camp because I work with students and professors who
> work with desktop linux. And they are deserting in droves for the Mac OS-X.

If they are "deserting in droves" because of the directory layout, then they
need to get their priorities straight. IMO the MacOS approach to packages and
dependancies will bite them on the ass later (is already doing so to some
extent with the rather shambolic rollout of weak references).

As to the distinction between /usr, /usr/local and /opt, yes, the FHS could be
clearer I think. However, although you can install packages each into its own
directory, I don't really see where the benefits come from. Anyway, end users
shouldn't really see the UNIX fs layout anyway, it should be abstracted by the

thanks -mike

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