--prefix question?

Joe Weidenbach weidenba at mnic.net
Wed Sep 27 01:33:39 PDT 2000

> I noticed that the --prefix=/usr used on just about every configure in LFS
> makes the compiling process put things in /usr/* as oppossed to
> /usr/local/*

Generally, all of the system programs that are not needed for emergency 
situations (compilers, X-windows, etc) are kept in the /usr file system.

This is to maintain compliance with the filesystem hierarchy standard (FHS).  
On most unix type systems, you would generally keep at least 3 
partitions--one fairly small for your config files (/etc), basic system 
utilities (mv, cp, rm,...), shells (bash, sh, csh, ksh,...), and recovery 
tools (e2fsck, mke2fs, fdisk, ...).  The second partition (/usr) is used 
mainly for your main system tools that aren't critical if something goes 
wrong with your system (eg. compilers, X-windows).  The third partition 
(/usr/local) is mainly for extras such as games, multimedia, and user added 

This is of course as I understand it--if you want to look it up, you can get 
a copy of the FHS at http://www.pathname.com/fhs/ .
It is fairly worthwhile reading for any system admin who works with unix too.


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