Question about FHS regards about etc files

Richard Lightman richard at
Fri Feb 22 03:42:15 PST 2002

* Joao Clemente <clemente at> [020222 08:16]:
> So this would mean that a package installed in PREFIX would have files in
> $PREFIX/bin and $PREFIX/etc and so on...
Some of the older standards did have '/usr/etc', '/usr/local/etc' and so on,
so GNU configure scripts set sysconfdir to ${prefix}/etc unless you tell
them to use something more sensible eg: '--sysconfdir=/etc'.

There are three obvious packages in LFS that would go wrong: glibc, shadow
and netkit base. The glibc FAQ mentions something about installing in
sensible places unless you tell it otherwise. I have had a quick look
at shadow - I think it looks for '/etc/login.defs' no matter what sysconfdir
is, and gets the path names for other config files from there.

I suspect many packages do not bother with --sysconfdir, and just use /etc.
If this bothers you, try getting a patch into the next release autoconf that
generates sensible defaults for sysconfdir. Then start making patches so
that packages it. ;-)


Apathy rules  - if it is not too much trouble.
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