Why /bin/head and /usr/bin/tail?

Greg Schafer gschafer at zip.com.au
Mon Sep 20 22:27:52 PDT 2004

Kevin P. Fleming wrote:

> We move these files to a non-default location (coreutils installs them 
> into /usr/bin) and have the statement that we are moving them "to their 
> proper locations", but we have no reference to what document is defining 
> "proper" in this context. I can't believe that POSIX, FHS or SUSv3 would 
> mandate head being in /bin but not tail...
> Does anyone know a specific reason it's being done this way?

The FHS lists the binaries that are required in /bin. While working on
LFS, I moved many of the unnecessary binaries back to /usr/bin but wasn't
able to move the rest because the bootscript folks seized on the clause in
the FHS that says "It may also contain commands which are used indirectly
by scripts.". IMHO, bootscripts should be smart enough to not rely on
`basename', `head', `touch' etc and any that rely on such binaries being
in /bin are poorly written. There are some comments about this in my
current reference build.


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