[AUUG-Talk]: Solaris Filesystem Hierarchies...Questions / Musings...

David Lloyd lloy0076 at adam.com.au
Sat Nov 18 14:31:56 EST 2006

Hi There,

I'm currently using Open Solaris ON, which I'll refer to as just ON (1). 
I've migrated from Linux and am used to Linux's general filesystem 
hierarchy and in specific Debian GNU/Linux and RedHat hierarchies.

One thing that I have noticed about ON is that there's a stupendous 
amount of locations where a binary might be lurking:

  * The usual: /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin
  * Then: /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/sbin
  * /usr/perl5/bin
  * /usr/java/bin
  * /usr/jdk [with 3 bin directories]
  * /usr/xpg4/bin
  * /usr/xpg6/bin
  * /usr/ucb/
  * /usr/sfw/bin
  * /usr/sfw/sbin
  * /usr/staroffice7/program
  * /usr/X11/bin
  * /usr/openwin/bin

I sense I've missed some out, however that's at least 19 locations on my 
   system where a binary *might* be. The above is fairly much from a 
full install from an ON consolidation.

I might add that if one installs extra official packages, such as Sun 
Studio, you'll often find that they contain their own directories.

To make my command line experience as seemless as possible [read: I can 
do what I'm used to doing], I have between 8-12 different locations in 
my PATH variable.

Most of the GNU/Linux distributions seem to have much less binary 
locations and tend to put most things in /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin. 
 From what I have seen of FreeBSD, there seems to a the same philosophy.

I suspect the reason why everything seems all over the place to me is that:

1. I'm steeped in the GNU/Linux mindset
2. ...and a little in the FreeBSD mindset

So, I guess I'm asking:

1. Is it just me or does Solaris put things all over the place?
2. If it does put things all over the place, is that because of backward
    compability issues?
3. Are other proprietary Unixes (such as AIX, HP-UX etc) setup the same?


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