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Re: OpenPackages comments

Wilfredo Sanchez wrote:
> On Monday, September 11, 2000, at 05:17 PM, Will Andrews wrote:
> > We *DO* currently use /usr/local for where to install things by default
> > (X stuff goes in /usr/X11R6, which may or may not be cool, depending on
> > your perspective).  However, I (and others, including David O'Brien)
> > think it's really a misnomer, because /usr/local should be reserved for
> > those things that TRULY are local to a machine.  After all, installed
> > packages may be shared across machines.
>   Well, I do agree that there is a need for two directories, one which
> might be a network mount.  But I don't think that that is related to
> whether an item is a package or not.  We have:
>         a- Stuff that comes with the system (/usr)
>         b- Stuff the user installs (/usr/local)
>         c- Stuff installs at a site and shared (?)
>   Some people mount the last on /usr/local, which I agree is a bit
> sideways.
>   I'd like to be able to do all three.  Base system software should
> be packageable into units which can be independantly upgraded (as I
> suggested earlier); that case a.  User installs a port on local disk
> is case b, and site admin installs on a shared volume for case c.
>   So I'd expect a package to either be from the OS distributor, which
> means it goes into /usr, or other, which can either be local or shared
> at the installing user's option.
>   That suggests a need for a standard case c directory, and /usr/pkg
> doesn't sound quite right to me.

>From what I remember when we discussed the FreeBSD ports system
originally it was not exected to grow into an official part of the
project in the way it has done. It was a way of managing local additions
which is exactly what /usr/local is for. The logic was that if you
backup /usr/local, /etc and /var then you can wipe the disk, reinstall
the operating system and restore those 3 directories to be back where
you were.

Things have moved on a lot since then and now the ports collection is
quote tightly integrated with the OS to the extent that we consider
moving optional parts of the OS into the ports system.

With it's current usage I think creating a new location, other than
/usr/local is a good idea, so that /usr/local goes back to being an area
that is outside the scope of the OS.

The issue of sharing packages across machines is a trickier one. If
we're going to come up with a new directory layout then perhaps it
should be


to differentiate between files that are host specific and those that can
be shared.

Although, if the base system and packages become synonymouse then
packages can just install into the same directory structure as the base
system since everything including the base OS is just another package
and can be managed like any other package.

Paul Richards
FreeBSD Services Ltd

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