On Thu, 25 Jul 2002, at 10:25am, Derek D. Martin wrote:
> On a few occasions, I've allowed frustration to get the better of me, and
> said some things I'd probably prefer I didn't...

  Well, Derek, if it makes you feel any better, I think that happens to
everyone now and again (certainly, to me!), and I commend you for admitting

> Beyond QA, I also think they do some really bizzare things with the way
> they organize and configure certain things (like putting the web server's
> document root in /home) that would make a lot of experienced Unix system
> administrators cringe.

  Ahhhhh yes.  That.  This is another of those "Linux is different" cases
that I was talking about.

  Outside of Linux, there is always a base system that comes from one vendor
or organization.  Even the BSDs have a "base system" plus the "ports"
section.  Third-party software (like Apache) is generally installed under
/usr/local (or /opt).  When you have /usr/local/apache/bin, lib, conf, log
and so on, it only makes sense to put the Apache web root there, too.

  But with Linux, it is *all* third-party software.  If Red Hat (or anyone
else) did what all the other Unixes do, there would be hundreds -- if not
thousands -- of package directories under /usr/local, and *nothing* in /usr
at all.  That is obviously the Wrong Thing.

  So, they put Apache binaries in /usr/bin, and modules in /usr/lib/apache,
and configuration in /etc/httpd/.  Which, to me, makes sense.  With Linux,
everything that was formerly "third-party" gets moved up, so to speak.

  But that leaves us with no place to put "htdocs".  Putting it under /usr
doesn't really make sense -- /usr is where static files live, not user data.
"/usr/local/htdocs" might make sense, but Red Hat wanted to leave
"/usr/local" for things not packaged by Red Hat.  Ditto "/opt".  They ended
up choosing "/home" because it was the web server's "home", so to speak.  I
think "/var/svc/httpd" or something would have been a better choice, but as
you say, sometimes it is just a matter of taste.

  I realize you yourself must know this, but I wanted to explicitly detail
it anyway.  For one, others might not realize it.  But more-so because I
wanted to highlight *why* Linux doesn't "behave" the way traditional Unix
does.  Anyone used to any other Unix will find Linux a bit "weird" in this

> ... [the LSB] at the very least documents them.

  One of my biggest beefs with Red Hat is the lack of general system
documentation.  Likewise, one of the things that impresses me the most about
Debian is the Policy manual.  Per-program manual pages and user guides are
certainly needed, but an overall system has to have a plan, too, and I wish
Red Hat documented their plan better.  (I'm giving them the benefit of the
doubt by assuming they have a plan.  ;-)

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