In the past, one of the problems that afflicted Linux distributions,
as well as the packages of software running on Linux, was the lack of
a single accepted filesystem layout. This resulted in
incompatibilities between different packages, and confronted users and
administrators with the task of locating various files and programs.
To improve this situation, in August 1993, several people formed the
Linux File System Standard Group (FSSTND). After six months of
discussion, the group created a draft that presents a coherent file
sytem structure and defines the location of the most essential
programs and configuration files.
This standard was supposed to have been implemented by most major
Linux distributions and packages. It is a little unfortunate that,
while most distributions have made some attempt to work toward the
FSSTND, there is a very small number of distributions that has
actually adopted it fully. Throughout this book, we will assume that
any files discussed reside in the location specified by the standard;
alternative locations will be mentioned only when there is a long
tradition that conflicts with this specification.
The Linux FSSTND continued to develop, but was replaced by the Linux
File Hierarchy Standard (FHS) in 1997. The FHS addresses the
multi-architecture issues that the FSSTND did not. The FHS can be
obtained from the Linux documentation directory of all major Linux FTP
sites and their mirrors, or at its home site at https://www.pathname.com/fhs/. Daniel Quinlan,
the coordinator of the FHS group, can be reached at [email protected].