libexec [was: Version 7.0-cross-lfs-20050818-x86_64]

Kev Buckley k.buckley at
Fri Aug 19 05:33:04 PDT 2005

> I don't know if this is really a bug or not.  Several tools in the
> cross compiler and the temporary tools install things into libexec.
> So far it hasn't caused me any trouble as I think they are things that
> never get used, then the directories get deleted.  But it got me
> curious, I don't see a libexec in the FHS, what is libexec and why
> does it exist?

I've had this stashed away in a notes file for ages, might be of interest.
(cant recall which package's configure it was, apache perhaps ?)

GNU system directory layout : from configure --help

bindir         user executables					/bin
sbindir        system admin executables				/sbin
libexecdir     program executables				/libexec
datadir        read-only architecture-independent data		/share
sysconfdir     read-only single-machine data			/etc
sharedstatedir modifiable architecture-independent data		/com
localstatedir  modifiable single-machine data			/var
libdir         object code libraries				/lib
includedir     C header files					/include

libexecdir is (was ?), I seem to recall, supposed to be for binaries
that only get called by other library "functions", that is, not directly
by the user. 

I have always assumed, without fully understanding why, in the two
contexts of modifiable vs read-only, and shared vs local, which the FHS
talks about, that this was merely done to seperate those particular
binaries from a directory containing just libraries (/lib).

I think "/com" seems to have fallen out of fashion, assuming it was
ever "in", too !


*  Kevin M. Buckley              e-mail: K.Buckley at   *
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