Alternate Installation Prefixes [Was: Re: Gnome-2.28.0 build notes -- Compatability Symlinks]

Randy McMurchy randy at
Sat Oct 24 09:04:12 PDT 2009

DJ Lucas wrote these words on 10/24/09 10:52 CST:
> On 10/24/2009 04:30 AM, Lars Bamberger wrote:
>> On my system I created some "compatibility" symlinks:
>> $GNOME_PREFIX/share/icons ->  /usr/share/icons
>> $GNOME_PREFIX/share/pixmaps ->  /usr/share/pixmaps
>> $GNOME_PREFIX/lib/gio ->  /usr/lib/gio/modules
>> This works for me, but it might also break things as some packages might
>> step on each others toes. Anyhow one might consider putting these
>> instructions in the book at one time.
> Unfortunately, it is a slow, time consuming process to validate a set of 
> instructions as large as the Gnome stack.  KDE and Xorg suffer the same 
> issues, but are certainly a little more forgiving than the 6 month Gnome 
> release cycle.  Gnome will be a *little* more manageable with 2.30/3.0 
> with art, bonobo, canvas, eel, glade, print, *ui, and all their 
> dependencies gone.  However, it seems that the developers aren't really 
> concerned with alternate installation prefixes, they obviously do not 
> test this scenario, and the patches and 'fixes' required will continue 
> to grow.  Upstreaming the patches has mixed results.
> I've hinted at this suggestion before, and mulled this over for a while 
> now.  I'm now suggesting that BLFS no longer support the alternate 
> installation prefixes for X, Gnome, and KDE.  The alternate prefixes can 
> be supported by the wiki if people are willing to commit to it.
> What does everyone else think of this?

I am opposed to the idea. I don't think it is that much trouble to set
up in alternate prefixes, and there is knowledge gained. For example,
the compat symlinks mentioned above by Lars are not really necessary.
Some aren't required at all, and others can be fixed by using built-in
mechanisms of other packages. For example, you can use PYTHONPATH (or
something like that) instead of a symlink.

I like the ability to install in a given location, and I have X, KDE
and GNOME all in their own /opt directories. I realize I haven't contributed
on the book in some time, but that will change. And if we move all this
stuff to /usr, I will not be able to help test.


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