[H-GEN] no /opt?

James McPherson - Customer Technical Support Engineer James.McPherson at Aus.Sun.COM
Fri Apr 7 03:58:22 EDT 2000

[ Humbug *General* list - semi-serious discussions about Humbug and ]
[ Unix-related topics.  Please observe the list's charter.          ]

> On Fri, Apr 07, 2000 at 12:27:01PM +1000, Raymond Smith wrote:
> > Does Debian usually have a '/opt'?[1] In the Linux world, where would I
> > normally install an unpackaged binary distribution of an application?

[snip debian comment from Ben]

> I think traditionally
> the reason for /opt is so that the entire "core system" as decided by the OS
> manufacturer with little variation from machine to machine could easily be
> replaced while leaving the optional and local zones to be compiled and setup
> by sysadmins.  The improvement of packaging systems over time (from the old
> fashioned tar-on-a-tape packages) has meant the lines between core and 
> non-core software could be softened.

One thing I've noticed over several version of sunos and solaris is that /opt 
tends to be more where the officially supported but non-core OS packages get put 
(ever noticed on Solaris 7 the existence of /opt/ENSsudo ?) - I include things 
like Veritas volume manager, SIMS (Sun's imap/pop server) etc, and incidentally 
HP JetAdmin likes to go in /opt also. As for improvement in packaging systems, 
well, SYSV-pkg is certainly a long way from tar (remember old slackware?) but 
there are bits about it that I don't like. It is, however, a commercial-unix 
standard so we are kinda stuck with it for at least a while.

> So do as you will, if you can't get a package for it, or don't want to make
> a package for it, then put it either in /opt, or /usr/local.  /usr/local has
> the advantage under debian of usually having default user paths pointing into
> /usr/local/bin already, negating the requirement of adjusting profiles.

solaris leaves /usr/local alone (although Solaris 8's bonus pack of OSS stuff 
does get installed under there somewhere), which is a good thing. /usr/local and 
/export/home are really the only two subdirs which the installation system will 
not scream too much about leaving alone.

> > [1] Am I using Solaris too much?
> Its packaging system leaves something to be desired, but it's not too bad.
> It's good at complex operating system functions[1] that many free OS's can
> at the moment only dream of, but it's still very old school in its
> philosophies[2].

yup - bsd + sysv. there are occasionally interesting cracks in the integration.

> [1] Good filesystems with built-in software RAID solutions, nice clustering
>     features, that sort of thing...

clustering...<shudder> - I've yet to see a really nice solution to this from any 
vendor, Solstice DiskSuite (now builtin to Solaris 8 instead of being a 
server-only package)..... play with it.

James C. McPherson
[yes, I have an employer bias ;>]

Solution Centre Support Engineer  828 Pacific Highway 
Sun Microsystems Australia Pty Ltd    Gordon NSW 2072
             Support Helpline: 1-800-555-786

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