[OpenIndiana-discuss] Namespace management and symlinks in /usr

Peter Tribble peter.tribble at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 22:36:05 UTC 2012

On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 10:21 PM, Reginald Beardsley
<pulaskite at yahoo.com> wrote:
> So *when* do they disappear?  That's the question I'm raising.  What are criteria for acceptable links?  Why are user & site level customizations cluttering a general distribution image?
> I'm concerned about the proliferation. 15715 symlinks is a lot of links. I don't see any sign of discipline.  Do we really need a symlink in /usr/sbin to everything in /sbin? Setting PATH properly is much cleaner.

Setting PATH is of no use whatsoever to scripts that have used the full
path to a command. That's commonly been promoted as good practice.

Besides, almost all of those symlinks don't hit the PATH at all. The ones that
do are likely necessary to avoid things breaking and to allow commands to
be found without excessive effort. But most by number are in /usr/share/icons
followed by /usr/share/man. Then /usr/lib, and in many cases that is links
from the unversioned library name to the versioned one.

The number of symlinks for commands that you could actually clean up is
likely to be a negligible fraction of the whole; I don't see a major problem
here. (Although deciding what the structure of the namespace ought to be
certainly does merit some thought. I know I'm not especially keen on the
dump it all in one pot and hope for the best strategy.)

-Peter Tribble
http://www.petertribble.co.uk/ - http://ptribble.blogspot.com/

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