use of /usr/local by packages

Alvin Thompson alvin-ubuntu at
Wed Aug 24 08:55:03 CDT 2005

i've noticed that several packages in the distribution place things 
under /usr/local. i'm sure there are more, but these are a few i've run 

eclipse (plugins)
python 2.4 (site packages)
whatever handles firmware
the font system (caches)

i always thought it was a major _faux pas_ for a distribution to place 
things under /usr/local, especially stuff of this type, which can be 
changed during normal operation. /usr and /usr/local are not guaranteed 
to be mounted as writable except when the admin is installing something, 

all of this stuff (which is potentially modified during normal 
operation) belongs under /var or /var/lib, i think. this is exactly what 
/var is for. in any case, it doesn't belong under /usr/local.


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