Puppy Linux Discussion Forum Forum Index Puppy Linux Discussion Forum
Puppy HOME page : puppylinux.com
"THE" alternative forum : puppylinux.info
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

The time now is Thu 23 Oct 2014, 13:31
All times are UTC - 4
 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
simpler file layout
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
Post new topic   Reply to topic View previous topic :: View next topic
Page 1 of 5 [64 Posts]   Goto page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Next
Author Message
miriam


Joined: 06 Dec 2006
Posts: 281
Location: Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 09:26    Post subject:  simpler file layout
Subject description: Linux has a notoriously messy file tree which Puppy has inherited. Can we fix it?
 

Hi folks. I've been lurking for quite a long time. Over some years I've been trying many different Linux variants in the quest to find a suitable one to invest my time and effort into. I think with Puppy I have found that one.

A big problem with all Linuxes is that the file tree is a total mess. Trying to find things, if you don't already know where they are, can be a real nightmare. Binary files (executable programs) can be scattered over sometimes a dozen "bin" folders and can actually end up almost anywhere. Shell scripts and configuration files are an even worse mess with, as far as I can see, very little rhyme or reason as to their placement. Each programmer, it seems, has his or her own idea of where stuff should go. The only thing everybody seems to agree on is not to follow the standard (with good reason as the standard is frankly insane http://www.linuxsa.org.au/meetings/1997-06/fsstnd/fsstnd.html ).

None of this matters if everything operates properly and you never need to fix anything by hand. But it never goes that way. Trying to track down the important parts of a Linux system when it fails to operate properly can end up costing you the best part of a day. It shouldn't be like this. And it never used to be.

Not very long ago file trees were much simpler. MSWindows is a fragile piece of spyware crap, but it does have a sensible, rational file structure that lets you find stuff quickly and easily. The Amiga computer has the simplest, easiest to use file tree of any modern computer. OS-9 (the small computer Unix clone not the Mac OS) had an incredibly simple file tree. Such a layout would make Puppy sooo much more friendly.

- a folder for executables
- a folder for scripts
- a folder for libraries, device drivers, and codecs
- a folder for configuration files and logs
- a folder for links to startup files
- a folder for data
- a folder for temporary files

No special folder for mounted devices. They're auto-mounted at the top level, though should be able to be selectively unmounted any time.

A special folder is not needed for each user, though they would quite likely want to create one. User distinction and file protection is provided perfectly well by the permission bits. Most Puppy machines are single-user. Forcing an elaborate structure on them is overkill.

What do you think?

_________________
A life! Cool! Where can I download one of those from?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
oli

Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 194
Location: Germany, Frankfurt

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 09:48    Post subject:  

Welcome to Puppy Very Happy .

In my opinion it is not as simple as you think to establish a new file-tree as standard for Puppy. One example: if I make a dotpup of a Debian program, the program needs specific files in specific directories. If the program should run with a not-standard file-tree, you have to change the source code (am I right?). This would mean a lot of work without advantage.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
debernardis


Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 10:45    Post subject:  

You might be interested in Gobolinux with its double filesystem structure which allows both tte historical tree and another, maybe tidier, organization.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
GuestToo
Puppy Master

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 4078

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 11:12    Post subject:  

Quote:
If the program should run with a not-standard file-tree, you have to change the source code (am I right?)

it depends ... sometimes an application will run as long as the executables and library files are placed in dirs that are in PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH ... but many applications require their files to be located where they are expected to be, as it was set when the source was compiled ... so yes, often precompiled binary files must be placed in certain standard locations

yes, the Linux file system is more complicated and complex than it needs to be for a simple standalone desktop, but Linux is based on Unix, and Unix traces it's roots back to the 1960's and Bell Labs ... which means there is a lot of legacy stuff in Unix and derivatives of Linux ... for example, many Unix systems ran on mainframes, perhaps in a university setting, and had hundreds or thousands of users on a time sharing system, as well as hundreds of servers, and also the administrator ... it was a good idea to keep the administrator system separate from the rest of the rabble

if you use Puppy as a standalone personal desktop, usually you are the admin, and a lot of the complexity that makes sense on the time sharing main frame is really no longer necessary ... it's still there mostly for legacy reasons

total mess ... real nightmare ... scattered ... little rhyme or reason ... the standard is frankly insane

yes, i agree, the Linux file system is unnecessarily complicated and fragmented ... i don't think insane is too strong a word

Quote:
incredibly simple file tree

i like simplicity

Quote:
A special folder is not needed for each user

a folder for each user would probably be desirable and necessary so that each user would have her/his own mail, internet bookmarks, wallpaper, desktop icons, choice of window manager, etc etc etc

Quote:
User distinction and file protection is provided perfectly well by the permission bits

the standard Linux file permissions are probably adequate, but a more powerful permissions system like Selinux could be used ... the trouble with permissions systems, is it can be tricky to get the permissions right, and it is also very easy to accidentally set up the permissions with a security hole

Quote:
Most Puppy machines are single-user. Forcing an elaborate structure on them is overkill

yes, i agree

the trouble is, a Linux operating system is a support structure for applications ... and the applications are mostly designed to work with other standard Linux operating systems ... so Puppy has to be able to support applications and libraries that were made to work with the standard Linux file system

i assume you have heard of GoboLinux ... it is a Linux operating system that has addressed this issue ... they have a simple file system, in which each application is contained in one folder ... executables, libraries, documentation, configuration
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoboLinux
http://www.gobolinux.org/

i like simplicity of Gobo's file system, and the packaging systems, and the simple boot scripts

they have dealt with the need for the legacy file system structure by adding symlinks for /bin, /sbin, /etc, /usr, etc etc etc, and hiding the legacy symlinks ... they are still there, for example, if you are looking for /etc/fstab, and don't know where it is in the simplifed Gobo file system, you can just open /etc/fstab in a text editor, and it will work ... this helps make Gobo with the legacy, standard file structure

C is a programming language with all the disadvantages of a high-level language combined with all the disadvantages of a low level language, with an awkward syntax and a design that makes it very very difficult to write even a simple program without the potential for buffer overuns which because the buffers are automatically place on the subroutine return stack, is a security risk ... but it has one advantage ... it is ubiquitous, almost everyone uses C or C++ ... so C is often used, because C is often used

similarly, most people use Windows, not because it is a really well designed operating system, but most people use Windows because most people use Windows

unless Barry gets Gobo religion, or someone decides to make a Gobo style Puppy, or unless someone decides to fork a Puppy style Gobo, i think Puppy will continue to use the standard Linux file system

pity ... i like simplicity ... in many of my dotpup packages, i put all the files in the package in one roxapp folder ... executables, libraries, documentation, icon ... it makes it simple to make and simple to install and simple to uninstall and simple to use

oh, and welcome to Puppy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 11:28    Post subject: ost  

Sorry - majority of Linux users would disagree about "Messy" or unstructured, ( above expressed) file system views.

FSH/LSB sets out standards for placement of all.
Variations arise due to non-conforming distributions.

Only variables should be optional paths chosen for /usr - /usr/local executables & customised /var & /opt folders.
If that were not true - no executable would ever start, unless the user pre-defined full path and environment profile for /root and ~/user_name

Once familiar to Linux heirarchy standards - it will become 2nd nature where to manually search - ESP. if "slocate" was included !
Quote:
a security risk

There is always a modicum of risk attached to use of other's code - beit C or any language !
It always boils down to hasty, ill-considered coding practices-
One way to avert most risk > use a stack-protection kernel patch
Linux was built on Gcc for kernel, Bash as default CLI - Perl/Python &widgets most else.
GUI environment needs upper languages and G++

All derived from 'Nix propreitary O/Systems which absolutely Req'd a rigorous server/client permission
file system interfacing to API/ABI kernel interupt requests.

.

Last edited by Gn2 on Thu 07 Dec 2006, 11:52; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
GuestToo
Puppy Master

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 4078

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 11:50    Post subject:  

i do agree that the standard Linux file system is unnecessarily complex for a simple standalone desktop, and i think that standards have disadvantages as well as advantages ... adherence to standards is often an excuse to avoid change, and prevent doing things in ways that might be truly better

maybe there are still people who are unhappy because CP-M is no longer the standard operating system for micro computers (as opposed to mainframes and minicomputers)

the advantage of having a standard plug and socket and a standard voltage and line frequency, is that you can just plug your hair dryer in any electric socket and it will work

the disadvantage is that the standard electric socket may not be as good as the standard plug and socket that another country might use ... when you stick with standard ways of doing things, you are also stuck with the standard, whether the standard is good and useful and practical or not

and Puppy is not your standard Linux distro

i think there is more than one slocate package ... here is mine: http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?&t=13004
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 12:18    Post subject:  

Quote:
adherence to standards is often an excuse to avoid change, and prevent doing things in ways that might be truly better

There is change for a valid purpose vs change because any may seem "inconvenient" to the user.

I can transplant a Detroit Diesel or CAT engine - where the original "standard" was a Cummins -
Not without extensive modifications to the frame.... plus then requiring alternate wiring harnesses, electrical sub-systems.

All variants would run on N/A roads or in UK - but NOT on same side of road or having lane width allotment to frame width conventions.
The driver's "view" would also would seem very "inconvenient" to any unaccustomed to standards
that were pre-condtions of pre-defined road "standards" of the individual country.
None of which makes any more sense to any pre-set O/System standards then does I.E. electrical frequency or plug sockets to wall outlets ?

In end - nothing stopping any who wish - alter anything that enhances own use .
Unlike national laws/standards that must be enforced for public safety
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
marksouth2000

Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 620

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 12:50    Post subject:  

GuestToo wrote:
[the Linux file system is unnecessarily complicated and fragmented ... i don't think insane is too strong a word

Well, "insane" implies irrational, and yet there is a rational reason for every piece of the file hierarchy. So insane is not a very good description at all.

The simplest and most obvious reason is interoperability. Linux uses the full set of POSIX structures so as to interoperate with POSIX systems and be able to use software written for, e.g., BSD systems.

And the fact that a telephone is not a multiuser system does not mean that it's a good idea to fork an incompatible version of Linux for phones. Linux is the best-scaling operating system in history. Whereas AmigaOS and Plan9 are just history.

To put it another way, when one sees something has been built by other people that one doesn't understand, one can adopt either of two approaches:

A. I shall try to understand why that is the way it is and how to make the best use of it.

B. I have no clue why they did that. Glad I'm not as dumb as that.

The latter is a popular choice, and recommended highly for its ratio of reward to effort.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
miriam


Joined: 06 Dec 2006
Posts: 281
Location: Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 13:26    Post subject:  

Quote:
Linux is the best-scaling operating system in history.


It is nice to be enthusiastic, but that isn't quite right. There are plenty of other operating systems that scale brilliantly -- as well as, and sometimes better than, Linux.

Quote:
Whereas AmigaOS and Plan9 are just history.


Operating systems fall out of popularity for various reasons that are not necessarily related to how well they work. Dismissing something by saying that it is history is a good way to ensure that we will never learn anything from history. (Incidentally I was talking about OS-9, though Plan9 is another interesting system.)

Quote:
To put it another way, when one sees something has been built by other people that one doesn't understand, one can adopt either of two approaches:

A. I shall try to understand why that is the way it is and how to make the best use of it.

B. I have no clue why they did that. Glad I'm not as dumb as that.

The latter is a popular choice, and recommended highly for its ratio of reward to effort.


Actually there are a lot of ways to respond to something that one doesn't understand. One is to ridicule it.

Come on Mark. I've read a lot of your posts. (I'm a long-time lurker.) You are a smart guy. Don't let yourself down with a defensive reaction like that. Linux is just a tool. No matter how well a tool works it can almost always be improved. It is what we humans do best.

You can't tell me you've never spent hours fossicking around in Linux's file tree trying to work out where the hell some damn configuration file is hiding.

_________________
A life! Cool! Where can I download one of those from?

Last edited by miriam on Thu 07 Dec 2006, 13:51; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
miriam


Joined: 06 Dec 2006
Posts: 281
Location: Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 13:34    Post subject:  

(Darn, I just noticed this one didn't post.)

Quote:
yes, the Linux file system is more complicated and complex than it needs to be for a simple standalone desktop, but Linux is based on Unix, and Unix traces it's roots back to the 1960's and Bell Labs ... which means there is a lot of legacy stuff in Unix and derivatives of Linux

True, but Linux's file tree seems to be quite a bit more disorganised and scattered than Unix's.
Quote:
...more powerful permissions system like Selinux could be used...

I hadn't heard of Selinux. More research I need to do. Smile Thanks.
Quote:
i assume you have heard of GoboLinux ... it is a Linux operating system that has addressed this issue ... they have a simple file system, in which each application is contained in one folder ... executables, libraries, documentation, configuration
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoboLinux
http://www.gobolinux.org/

Wow! Thanks Debernardis and GuestToo. I hadn't heard of GoboLinux. I have just now had a quick read of some of the literature about it. It sounds very much like what was thinking, though taking it in a slightly different, and I gotta say, rather ingenious direction.

I'm going to read more about it and see if some of its lessons can be applied to Puppy.
Quote:
oh, and welcome to Puppy

Smile Thanks

_________________
A life! Cool! Where can I download one of those from?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11120
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 17:05    Post subject:  

I wish I had more time to join in this discussion. I couldn't agree more with miriam that the Linux filesystem is practically insane. For sure there is nothing user-friendly about it, nor any apparent desire to make it so. There is so little obvious rhyme or reason to it that even developers can't agree on where to put things. Theye make the situation even worse by creating their own ad-hoc solutions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
marksouth2000

Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 620

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 19:19    Post subject:  

It's good news for Puppy that practically everyone who visits the forum has a clearer idea of how a filesystem should work than Ken Thomson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Andrew Tanenbaum, and Linus Torvalds put together. Cool! Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 22:14    Post subject:  

Hmmm ... If Linux FSH seems unnecessarily convoluted or out of step to own needs - alter to suit own working requirements.
It is NOT recommended as a good idea - to hastily employ SEL without much prior considerations ?.

= If any think Linux default system permissions are hard to decipher now - SEL will -Wink Guaranteed .... vastly increase your vocabulary !

There is very much interest and all sorts of splinter groups trying to promulgate "own" solutions - if any were supperior-
Present standards would soon change
All has nothing to do with any (expert maintainer's) own vision of any Status Quo
vs - Everything to do with full Posix compliance.
Quote:
I don't have any solution, but I certainly admire the problem.
Ashleigh Brilliant
NTIM > To me - that equates to
Code:
 It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.
Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.
 Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


In end - Linux enables all to alter to suit -IF time/efforts necessary
may indicate any alterations will enhance own usage.

= Rotsa_ruck to fighting default pre-supplied dependencies of
added_in Apps/utilities
Noone will be able to aid you sort any self-inflicted glitches out
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
GuestToo
Puppy Master

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 4078

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2006, 23:37    Post subject:  

Quote:
majority of Linux users would disagree

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

Quote:
FSH/LSB sets out standards for placement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority

Quote:
Once familiar to Linux heirarchy standards

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_tradition

Quote:
when one sees something has been built by other people that one doesn't understand

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

Quote:
It's good news for Puppy that practically everyone who visits the forum has a clearer idea of how a filesystem should work than Ken Thomson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Andrew Tanenbaum, and Linus Torvalds put together

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority

Quote:
If any think Linux default system permissions are hard to decipher now - SEL will -Wink Guaranteed .... vastly increase your vocabulary !

agreed ... it took Fedora Core a number of releases before they resolved the Selinux configuration problems

Quote:
Posix compliance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POSIX

"Fully POSIX-compliant
These are officially certified as POSIX compatible, they conform to it fully.

# NT kernel (used in Windows NT, 2000, 2003; XP, Vista)"

the POSIX specifications do not seem to require an unnecessarily complex file system in which the components of an application are separated and placed in various locations throughout the file system ... this seems to be: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_statement
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Fri 08 Dec 2006, 00:07    Post subject:  

Wink
Code:
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

Quote:
if any were supperior- Present standards would soon change
~ In end - Linux enables all to alter to suit -IF time/efforts necessary
may indicate any alterations will enhance own usage.

To each his own - I may not agree, but will defend anyone's right to express own convictions - less they be hate mongering
such as I.E.
Some self -interest only "Politicos' use to divide - & promote to E.G. own ends.....
Sans deference to (swarn oathes) to never harm those they took office to serve.

But that's also just another inequity of: Laughing
Seems to be more've > "It ain't so much the fools - perhaps the lightening just ain't distributed right by the almighty ....to best affect". ?

BTW Wiki is Icky = Contents are Websites' personal conceptions vs .......
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
Display posts from previous:   Sort by:   
Page 1 of 5 [64 Posts]   Goto page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic View previous topic :: View next topic
 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
[ Time: 0.1309s ][ Queries: 12 (0.0041s) ][ GZIP on ]