[lsb-discuss] FHS-type question - where to put modifiable data shared by all users?

David Bruce davidstuartbruce at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 09:01:29 PDT 2009

If there is a better place to ask this question, please let me know.
The list I found for FHS is abandoned to spam.

I'm the developer of a desktop application and want to allow users to
create and modify files that will be accessible to all users.  (The
app is Tux Typing, a typing tutor game for kids.  I want teachers to
be able to add their own word lists that will be visible to all
students.  I don't want to assume that all the kids will use a common
login, even though that seems to be the practice at most elementary

The program's bundled word lists go under e.g.
/usr/local/share/tuxtype, which is read-only for ordinary users and
also would get clobbered by upgrades.  I don't think this location
should be modified in the ordinary operation of the program.

If I put user-generated word lists under /home/$USER/.tuxtype, they
won't be visible to other users unless the program scans all the home
directories, which itself may not work if the site is configured to
keep users out of each other's homes.

I could have the installation create a user account for tuxtype and
make its home visible to all users, but my understanding is that such
a practice is discouraged.

Another possibility is to put it under /var, although the typical use
of /var (log files and caches) seems a little different than what I
have in mind.

The above relates to a GSoC project that a student will be doing with
me this summer.  I want to make sure that we do this in the "correct"
manner, both to have our program be a "respectable citizen" and to
have the student learn what is correct.  I'm a long-standing linux
user/hacker, but I don't formal linux/unix training.

Thanks for any suggestions,

David Bruce

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