[lsb-discuss] Proposed extensions to filesystem layout: LSB as successor to FHS?

Steve Langasek vorlon at debian.org
Thu Feb 17 13:50:10 PST 2011

Hi there,

The LSB incorporates the FHS by reference, but the FHS seems to be dormant
as far as bugfixes to the standard are concerned.  A ping to the FHS mailing
list last July elicited some responses directing me to the LSB working group
instead.  Does this working group consider itself empowered to make changes
to the FHS?

I ask because the consensus among the Debian and Ubuntu communities has for
some time been that the FHS's lib<qual> specification is inadequate for all
the various and sundry uses to which users would like to put their systems,
and a concept of a "multiarch" extension to the filesystem layout has been
cooking for some time (which judging from the list archive may have come up
for discussion here a time or two before).  While to some of you the word
may sound like a synonym for "Duke Nukem Forever", there's convergence now
on a proof-of-concept implementation, to the point where I'd like to solicit
input from the wider Linux community before we go all out in implementing
something that other distributions will reject.

We of course are not proposing that all FHS implementors must rearrange
their filesystems to remain compliant, but we do want to reach a consensus
that, *if* implementors need a solution for any-to-any ABI mixing, there
should be a standard way to do it; and we would like the FHS to specify what
that way is.

As a first step towards standardization, we're trying to address the fact
that there exists no reliable one-to-one mapping between ABI-incompatible
library stacks and standard names on the filesystem.  I'd like to present
this WG with a draft proposal to address this:


Would there be any interest within the LSB WG in picking this up as a
cross-vendor standard?

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek at ubuntu.com                                     vorlon at debian.org
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