Checking /usr/local/ before upgrading

Vincenzo Ciancia ciancia at
Sun Oct 28 13:40:03 UTC 2007

Reinhard Tartler ha scritto:
> Vincenzo Ciancia <ciancia at> writes:
>> Similar issues might happen if one has something in /usr/local/bin, so
>> wouldn't it be wise to ask, in the upgrade program, if user wants to
>> temporarily rename /usr/local to /usr/local.upgraded during upgrade, so
>> things are safer? 
> Isn't your email/request rather a pretty good example why installing
> software to /usr/local is a bad idea wrt to system upgrades?
> I'd really suggest to install your special libraries, local software
> etc. either to /usr/local/$PACKAGE or /srv/local/$PACKAGE or somewhere
> else. You can use environment variables or rpath to make them work.

Use case: I don't know that much about unix, and work in a scientific
environment. To develop some code, I need to install a special library
that ubuntu does not distribute. Then I go to their website, download
the tgz, and follow instructions. Then I will 99% install libraries in
/usr/local, and won't know the (not that usual) practice you are
suggesting. However, since we can't assume ubuntu will pack everything
on earth, we have to mind such problems.

In the end, if I was not experienced, and didn't go to IRC, I would have
had to reinstall. The ubuntu upgrade package had badly broken my system,
where a simple check would have avoided the problem. You can say that's
my fault, however /usr/local exists just for the purpose of installing
local packages.


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