Art Alexion on 24 Jan 2006 14:37:06 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] /usr/local vs. /opt

sean finney wrote:

>hey art,
>On Tue, Jan 24, 2006 at 08:42:55AM -0500, Art Alexion wrote:
>>I have been led to believe that the /usr/local branch is where packages
>>that aren't part of a distro should be installed.  I put custom scripts
>>in /usr/local/bin for that reason.
>>What is the difference between these two and when should one use which?
>the short version of the story is that there isn't much difference
>between the two.  afaik they come from different histories to serve
>generally the same purpose.  nowadays however, i think it's simply
>a matter of preference of the software developers of the individual
>projects and the sysadmins installing the software.
>from my experience, stuff that defaults to going into /opt is typically
>less oriented towards the FHS unix-style file/directory layouts.  such
>packages usually go in /opt/package, where evertying underneath is
>directly controlled by the package and is more or less self contained.
>for example: openoffice, mozilla suite, java, proprietary apps jump
>to mind.  this is mere conjecture on my part though.  /usr/local
>installations on the other hand typically imply the ability to co-exist
>with other software applicatoins in the same directory tree.  this is
>by no means an absolute rule[1], but just about anything use install with
>the ./configure; make; make install process would be a good example
>of this co-existance paradigm.
>my personal preference is towards the latter, as either directly or
>indirectly through osmething like stow/depot you can install/remove
>software without having to constantly muck with your system profiles
>for maintaining stuff like PATH.  from a linux distribution developer
>standpoint, it also is more attractive because you don't have to
>be familiar with a certain software package to know where a certain
>kind of file should be placed.
>	sean
>[1] that is, many people use /opt with FHS-like layouts underneath and
>    /usr/local with the /opt style directories.
Thanks, Sean.  Makes sense.


Art Alexion
Arthur S. Alexion LLC

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