How to build a FHS system

Matthias Benkmann matthias at
Wed Oct 9 03:45:56 PDT 2002

On Wed, 9 Oct 2002 11:36:56 +0200 Michael Osman Talayman
<michael at> wrote:

> You wrote that I should just install everything and then delete the
> programs I dont want, but don't I then risc having non-used files on my
> computer?

This problem always exists, no matter if you hack Makefiles or delete
manually. In both cases it depends on your decisions what gets installed
and what doesn't and if your decisions are wrong (almost unavoidable,
given that you rarely have complete information about a package) you end
up installing/not installing certain files that you should have not

When manually deleting stuff you can choose between 2 strategies:

1) If you don't know it, delete it. This strategy will not result in
unused files unless you explicitly decide to keep an unused file that you
know. This strategy will however likely result in broken programs, unless
you have much in-depth knowledge about a Linux system. So to be safe you
should always make backups of files you delete (e.g. burn them on a CDROM)
and keep a boot medium/alternative Linux install around.

2) If you don't know it, keep it. This strategy will not result in broken
programs but it will result in unused files sticking around.

Make your pick. There is no magic bullet. In any case I suggest you use

It will be a great help, because you will always know which files (and
directories) come from which package.


Objectivity is just collective subjectivity.

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