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

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at
Sat Oct 24 09:20:52 PDT 2009

DJ Lucas wrote:

> 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.

I don't agree.  I think many users like to upgrade their systems in place. 
Installing in an alternate prefix allows that without the possibility of 
breaking the current installation.  The original install instructions for KDE3 
recommended this and I incorporated that into the book when we first added KDE 
into the book.  It was only later that we added a second /usr version.

In my case, I always put Qt and KDE into /opt so I can upgrade without problems. 
  In fact, I use Qt3 and Qt4 simultaneously and would not like to have them 
co-mingled.  I haven't felt a need to upgrade X (from 6.8.2) on my main system, 
but if I did upgrade it, I'd want the capability to revert easily.

Really, that's what alternate installation directories are for -- reverting to a 
known good version.  It's one thing for a distro like Ubuntu or Fedora to do an 
update in place to /usr, but another thing to compile and install a complex 
system like KDE or Gnome.  Without an alternate directory, you are back to an 
alternate window manager during the build and that just isn't desirable for most 

   -- Bruce

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