Fedora 17 file-system reimagined. /usr move to benefit Linux as a whole.

Posted: June 1, 2012. At: 6:57 PM. This was 5 years ago. Post ID: 3980

Linux is going through a change right now, with the Google Android code included in the Linux Kernel, this will benefit the users of all Linux distributions. The Fedora 17 distribution is rearranging the Linux file-system with the /bin folder that contains the GNU Coreutils such as /bin/bash amongst others merged into the /usr/bin folder with all of the other program executables that live in that directory. The /lib/, /lib64/, /bin/ and /sbin/ folders are the folders that will be moved under the /usr directory. This will make the / root directory cleaner. There is a tool for Fedora 17 that can convert your system to the new unified files-system layout, after this is completed you must only install the Fedora 17 packages and no legacy software. The missing directories will be replaced with symbolic links to enable some backwards compatibility. E,g for installing software from source that might expect to find an old file-system layout.

There is some good information here on the Fedora mailing lists. http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/devel/2012-January/161761.html. The reasoning for this move is detailed here: http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd/TheCaseForTheUsrMerge. The improved compatibility with UNIX operating systems is a good reason for this change in the filesystem layout. And with some UNIXES the /home folder is a symlink to the /usr/home folder. That is another good point regarding the differences between UNIX and Linux. A unified file-system layout between UNIX and Linux will make it easier to port software across from UNIX to Linux or vice versa. The Solaris UNIX operating system was the first to accomplish the /usr move, this was completed in Solaris 11. It therefore makes sense that Linux should catch up to the UNIX Solaris operating system.

Ubuntu and Linux Mint might implement this move as well, only if the conversion can be performed without any problems. Theoretically you could perform this yourself; but this would be a bad idea. Better to use a proper conversion tool to convert the file-system layout without problems. As I said, the conversion of the file-system will bring many benefits to the Linux distributions that implement this revolutionary change to the way the Linux directory structure is laid out. We need a unified Linux platform that can share code easily with the UNIX operating systems such as BSD and Solaris.

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