A new revision of the
Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS)
(PDF) has been published by
the Filesystem Hierarchy Group.
This standard consists of a set of requirements and guidelines for
file and directory placement under UNIX-like operating systems.
The guidelines are intended to support interoperability of applications,
system administration tools, development tools, and scripts
as well as greater uniformity of documentation for these systems.
Through its history, those who built the various flavors of Unix have
placed standard files in varying, system-specific locations. To a lesser
the same problem has also occurred with the numerous Linux distributions.
Adherence to the FHS by Linux distribution architects has made
life much easier for system administrators, end users, and software
The FHS categorizes of files with two attributes,
shareable/unshareable and static/variable. Standard directories
are then categorized according to the attributes of the files within.
In traditional UNIX implementations, directories often contained files and
subdirectories with all of these attribute combinations.
By strictly grouping the directory contents according to attributes,
the sharing of common directories between systems, and the protection of
site-specific data, is simplified.
This version of the standard proposes the creation of two new top-level
directories, /srv and /media.
The proposal for /srv
defines the top-level directory as being used for
data generated by users for the services the system offers.
This would include, for example, ftp, www, and CVS repositories.
/media proposal suggests the creation of a top-level directory which
contains mount points for removable media such as:
The commonly used directory /mnt would then be restricted to use by
the systems administrator for temporary mount points.
While the hammering out of such standards is likely to cause a lot of
lively discussion, the benefits of filesystem standardization by
the majority of Linux distributions is indeed great.
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