rpm vs tar install locations

Glenn Steen glenn.steen at gmail.com
Mon May 19 19:35:01 IST 2008

2008/5/19 Jeff A. Earickson <jaearick at colby.edu>:
> Gang,
> I'm looking at moving my MailScanner system from a physical
> Solaris 10 box to a virtual (vmware) Redhat system.  Any
> advice and gotchas would be helpful.
Ooooh, we can give you gotcha's ... no doubt about that:-):-)

> I've got to ask.  I got my Redhat box set up, took a snapshot
> of the base system, then ran the rpm install (saved output via
> the script command), rolled back to the snapshot, and then did
> a tar install (also saved output).  Why do the rpm's go into
> /usr, while the tarfile goes into /opt?  Frankly, I like it in
> /opt a whole lot better...
There are a few answers like "Because [RPM|FSSTD|LSB|...] decrees it",
but the basic thought behind all those would be that any "system level
RPM" should put things in predictable places... Usually system level
tools would go into /usr/sbin or /sbin (though the "s" stands for
"statically linked"...not "system tools":-). The tarball put things in
an alternative place, where it is supposed to ... /opt (which stand
for "optional", although many things put there aren't especially
optional:-) is meant for things that aren't part of the distro
packaging scheme, but aren't really locally developed (as you all
know, /usr/local used to be the dumping grounds of such packages).
I'm too rusty a Solaris user to rightly remember, but I think it has a
similar "structure" to things...:)
I'm sure you'll get a few diverging/converging answers to this effect,
but ... that is basically it:).

> Jeff Earickson
> Colby College

-- Glenn
email: glenn < dot > steen < at > gmail < dot > com
work: glenn < dot > steen < at > ap1 < dot > se

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