Filesystem Layout

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At this point, the importance of understanding how to navigate an operating system's file layout should be clear—if you can't find something, you can't use it. In Chapter 3, the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) was discussed; in Chapter 4, Red Hat's adherence to the FHS was also discussed. In general, there's not much to say about Slackware except that if anything, it obeys the FHS even more strictly than Red Hat. That is, you can expect no surprises when looking for a file on a Slackware system.


Since Slackware's packaging tools support the installation of simple tarballs, administrators should be careful to make sure they know where in the filesystem non-Slackware packages are installed. Not everyone follows the FHS.

The only other remarkable thing about Slackware's use of the filesystem is how it treats the /opt directory. Recall from Chapter 3 that /opt is to be used for "optional" system components. Red Hat treats this directory more or less like /usr/local, in that normally, Red Hat's RPM packages don't place anything in /usr/local or /opt (and this convention is obeyed fairly consistently in general). Those two directories are reserved for use by a system administrator to place local files.

Slackware also treats /usr/local as strictly for administrators; however, Slackware actually does place some software in /opt. Specifically, Slackware places optional packages in /opt (for which it's hard to fault them, obviously). For example, neither KDE nor GNOME is required for the normal operation of the system or for XFree86 to function; Slackware therefore installs these packages in /opt. In a way, you can actually claim that by placing optional packages in /opt, Slackware is doing a better job of logically partitioning its software installation than Red Hat. In the end, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other, so really what users should take away from this discussion is that if a particular package isn't located under /usr, it's probably under /opt.

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Tuning and Customizing a Linux System
Tuning and Customizing a Linux System
ISBN: 1893115275
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 159 © 2008-2017.
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