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To: gentoo-dev@g.o
From: Michał Górny <mgorny@g.o>
Subject: Re: rfc: locations of binaries and separate /usr
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2012 18:54:34 +0100
On Sat, 31 Dec 2011 19:59:47 -0600
William Hubbs <williamh@g.o> wrote:

> I see three options:
> 
> 1) Start migrating packages along with upstream and have everyone who
> has a separate /usr (including me by the way) start using an initramfs
> of some kind, either dracut or one that we generate specifically for
> gentoo. The reason I suggest the initramfs, is, unfortunately if we
> migrate everything, nothing else would work.
> 
> 2) Combine the sbin and bin directories both  on the root
> filesystem and in /usr by moving things from /sbin to /bin
> and /usr/sbin to /usr/bin.
> 
> 3) Try to maintain  things the way they are as long as possible.

We should *at least* start doing some preparations, like ensuring that
random things don't unnecessarily hardcode /sbin or /bin paths. Most
importantly, if a particular tool runs in a complete environment (which
is true for most of the cases), there is no need to hardcode paths to
tools.

As I see it, 2) seems achievable within a reasonable time now. It
shouldn't require any specific changes from users (except for fixing
their own broken scripts) yet some tree-wide action of fixing hardcoded
paths.

We could create /sbin and /usr/sbin symlinks as well but that shouldn't
be really necessary, especially if we prepare packages well beforehand.
Introducing such symlinks would be hard to perform and getting rid of
them later would be even harder; mostly due to PMS-enforced limitations.

For a long-term view, 1) is the only way to go. Splitting packages
randomly between rootfs and /usr was never really correct, and we
especially shouldn't force users to junk their systems with shattered
packages and cheap glue to keep it all working.

I'd suggest going the other way than I did with kmod. Temporary IUSE
like 'install-to-usr', disabled by default for now. Packages having
that IUSE should have correct USE-dependencies, and users who need not
to use that could just enable 'install-to-usr' globally (we'd probably
want to mask it first).

Of course, that way will require removing hardcoded paths as well, or
supporting switching them on IUSE. For the latter, it may be simpler to
use '[install-to-usr=]' kind of dependencies.

-- 
Best regards,
Michał Górny
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-- William Hubbs
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-- William Hubbs
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Updated Jun 29, 2012

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