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

David Bruce davidstuartbruce at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 13:50:07 PDT 2009

Hi Mats,


> * modifiable data ought to go in /var, as has been noted already,
> so you can use /var/lib if you're putting stuff in the system
> heirarchy, but I'd think of that space as reserved for distros,
> so you should only configure these files to go in /var/lib if
> the program files are configured for /usr/bin, /usr/lib,
> /usr/share

Right - so when tuxtype is packaged for e.g. Debian and installed by
apt, we would use /var/lib/tuxtype.

> * if the package is configured to install in /usr/local (and
> this is the *only* time you should use /usr/local/share, by
> the way), then use something under /usr/local, probably
> /usr/local/lib - although this bit isn't really spelled out.
> you could equally argue there ought to be a /var/local for
> this purpose, but there isn't one for now.

This would be the "./configure; make; sudo make install" build from
the source tarball.  From reading the FHS I thought it would be
/var/local/tuxtype, and indeed there is an (empty) /var/local on this
Debian machine, but perhaps /var/local isn't widely adopted?

> I *think* that this
> maps to the --localstatedir=DIR configure option that
> some packages have.

AFAICT, "localstatedir" is the Autoconf variable that corresponds to
this role, but it doesn't seem to use quite the same location as
recommended by the FHS.  Autoconf says it is $prefix/var, that is
/usr/var or /usr/local/var, neither of which exists on my system.  I
have a post to the Autoconf list on that particular question.


David Bruce

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