Howto for non-standard paths???

Matthias B. msbREMOVE-THIS at
Sat Mar 4 03:56:18 PST 2006

On Wed, 1 Mar 2006 21:06:09 -0600 (CST) Alex <blfs at> wrote:

> On the other hand, I'm considering installing each package to a separate
> directory and upon each installation/removal, re-populating a fake set
> of  standard "/usr" directories with symbolic links to the real files...

GNU Stow and several other tools do that. I suggest you go to Freshmeat
and enter "stow" as search query. You'll get GNU stow and several other
tools using the same idea.

A more elegant way to do this might be unionfs. I think (I haven't tried
it) that unionfs can mount several directory trees over /usr and the
resulting /usr will contain the union of all the directory trees. I
believe it would even be possible to mount an empty directory (tree) over
/usr and to tell unionfs that all writes to /usr should go there instead.
That way you wouldn't even need to convince a package to install to a
different prefix. You could just have it install to /usr and unionfs will
redirect the writes to another directory which will then hold all the
files installed by the package. I believe some live CDs use this to make
the CD "writable". But I've tested none of this. If you try it I'll be
very interested in your results.


If God hadn't wanted me to be paranoid,
He wouldn't have given me such a vivid imagination.

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