Ubuntu should move all binaries to /usr/bin/

John Moser john.r.moser at gmail.com
Wed Nov 2 19:29:29 UTC 2011

On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 3:01 PM, nick rundy <nrundy at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I came to ubuntu from Windows. And one thing Windows does well is make it
> easy to find an executable file (i.e., it's in C:\Program Files\). Finding
> an executable file in Ubuntu is frustrating & lacks organization that makes
> sense to users. Fedora is considering a fix for this issue. I think Ubuntu
> should do the same.


System binaries for administrative and basic shell tools go into /bin
and /sbin.  Libraries go into /lib.  This is well-known, it is
documented, it is standard.  A system that cannot boot to the point of
mounting or giving a basic recovery console without /usr is not

We are not Windows.  We do not go breaking standards that are
well-defined and reasoned for a variety of flexible use cases because
we "think" it would be "better" in some invisible way.  You want to
find a binary?  Here, I've solved this problem for you, completely.
It's easy.  Do this:

luser$ which ls

luser$ which gnome-session

luser$ which synaptic

If it isn't in your path, then it's broken.  Something strange has
happened.  Yes, some applications (Mozilla...) do use a small shell
script that loads a binary from /usr/libexec/mozilla/bin/ and I find
this annoying and ill-designed.  That's part of what XULrunner was
supposed to fix:  a single Mozilla libs install to run all XUL apps.
I loudly proclaim that "reusable code" should not have one copy
installed as a separate library for each time it is reused, and that
this behavior is inconsistent and broken--that changing it will cause
the system to become nonfunctional means the brokenness isn't in where
we've installed it, but how the program was designed.

I wonder how many shell scripts will break when /bin/sh and /bin/bash
aren't there anymore.

> Here's a link to an article that talks about Fedora's idea:
> http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Fedora-considers-moving-all-binaries-to-usr-bin-1369642.html?view=print
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