I'm writing a bunch of tutorials for students on linux admin and stuff and it's telling how often the explanation for why something counterintuitive is like that is "Ridiculous Historical Reasons"

@kalium I mean,

isn't that a more general problem about historical contingency?

@petra @kalium oh yeah sure, everything has historical contingencies, (half of windows is backwards compatibility) but it felt a little weird actually writing down explanations for why /usr is like that.

@kalium Explanations of the historical background behind the ridiculous reasons might make a good appendix, and would almost certainly be informative.


i like the one about why the mess that is /usr is what it is


a unix box from back when mainframes hard drives were measured in megs had the drive mounted to / fill up

they had a second drive mounted to /usr, which at that time was for home directories, and it had space

so they started copying things that weren't required for boot from /bin and /lib and whatnot into /usr

and then users from that system began cargo culting that setup into future systems


also the one about how /etc used to be literally "whatever doesn't seem like it belongs anywhere else" and i guess that was pretty much just config files and eventually was standardized as such

@ky0ko @multiplexd @kalium also the reason why "wheel" is the sudoers group because "The Boss" -> "The Big Cheese" -> "The Big Wheel o' Cheese" -> wheel

@ky0ko @multiplexd oh, what about "~ is short for home because on the old keyboards ~ was a layer on the home key"

@ky0ko @multiplexd @kalium I'm glad we all agree that /usr is just a dumpster fire on modern systems

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