GoboLinux / Alternative File Hierarchy

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Oct 26-12:39 pm by dgh.
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  • #28277
    Member
    dghdgh

    I found myself on gobolinux.org earlier. GoboLinux eschews from the standard file system hierarchy and places programs in /Programs, user info in /Users, system stuff in /System, etc.. then I noticed the project is listed as dormant (on wikipedia and distrowatch). Minimal Github activity.

    It was pretty funny– as I was reading the wikipedia article I got to this part:

    GoboLinux’s filesystem changes also allow other innovations, such as an entirely new boot system that does not use System V or BSD style init systems.

    and I’m thinking.. heeere we go.. I knew it was gonna have systemd. I finished reading the article and scrolled to the bottom and saw this:

    Categories: Source-based Linux distributions | Linux distributions without systemd

    I figured such a change to the file hierarchy would be somehow integrated with systemd, but it appears that is not the case.

    •Ever tried GoboLinux? Know anything about it?
    •Know any other distributions that organize their file hierarchy in this manner?
    •Think the standard will ever go in this direction?
    •Any other thoughts on the concept? Like it? Hate it?

    #28295
    Member
    VWVW

    If it’s dormant, who is going to give you support when you need it? It’s two years since it had an update. You could, of course, take over the project yourself as you think it’s so wonderful. I’m quite happy with antiX.

    Never trust anybody who is too sophisticated to own a rubber chicken.

    #28304
    Member
    RichardRichard

    Gobolinux was created to overcome the limitation of trying to run Linux on a university system with only user access. In other words, run everything under your user.
    It’s an interesting idea but it is probably only useful if you are in a similar situation.

    T430=MX183
    EeePC-1005HA=antiX19b3

    #28305
    Member
    rayluorayluo

    GoboLinux eschews from the standard file system hierarchy and places programs in /Programs, user info in /Users, system stuff in /System, etc.. then I noticed the project is listed as dormant (on wikipedia and distrowatch). Minimal Github activity.

    •Ever tried GoboLinux? Know anything about it?
    •Know any other distributions that organize their file hierarchy in this manner?
    •Think the standard will ever go in this direction?
    Any other thoughts on the concept? Like it? Hate it?

    Thanks for providing this interesting read to start my Sunday morning. 🙂

    I did not know GoboLinux before. For those who wants to read more, the GoboLinux’s “at a glance” page has more details.

    Personally I think that is a very interesting idea. In fact, I remember that when I was a Linux newbie and wanted to “patch” the system, I used the exact same symbolic link trick to replace system files all the time, but of course in an ad-hoc fashion, and never thought such approach could go as far as GoboLinux today.

    It is plausible that if the entire system were organized in the GoboLinux way, package management would be much easier. Installing a new package would be as simple as download and unzip a tarball into the /Programs? But then again, nowadays the mainstream already goes with a direction of using package managers and let them do the job under the hood. (By the way, AntiX ships with Package Installer and Synaptic Packager Manager. Sometimes I got confused why some package can be found in one of them but not the other. But that’s perhaps just me.) And that’s fine to normal END USERS too, because they might not even care the under-the-hood stuff. As long as a new package can be easily installed via one (and ideally only one) package manager shipped with the OS, it is good.

    I may play with GoboLinux later. I use AntiX as my daily go-to system. The main reason is for its flexible LiveUSB mechanism. I used (customized) LiveUSB exclusively.

    #28325
    Member
    dghdgh

    If it’s dormant, who is going to give you support when you need it?

    There is a “Yo Momma” joke in here somewhere but I’ll let it slide this time.

    It’s two years since it had an update.

    Yeah, I know that. I told you I looked at the wikipedia article, distrowatch and github. If I intended to install it, why would I even bother asking about it? To the contrary, I am asking out of curiosity, because I don’t have plans to try it.

    You could, of course, take over the project yourself as you think it’s so wonderful. I’m quite happy with antiX.

    You could, of course, take your defensive zeal down about 9 or 10 notches, while calmly reminding yourself that this is the OTHER DISTRO forum. Nobody is attacking antiX or your devotion to it, so please cool your jets.

    Gobolinux was created to overcome the limitation of trying to run Linux on a university system with only user access. In other words, run everything under your user.
    It’s an interesting idea but it is probably only useful if you are in a similar situation.

    The first page I ended up on was actually the special download page describing that ‘rootless’ situation– it was linked from a thread on superuser or some other site. I’m only surprised the alternative file hierarchy thing hasn’t been pushed more, because that’s probably the most common complaint I receive from people switching from Windows to Linux; not understanding the directories, where programs reside, etc..

    The ‘file system as package manager’ concept sounds kinda neat, but not much testimonial seems to remain outside of the hypothetical marketing fluff talking about how it’s supposed to work. If it was an earth-shattering improvement, one would assume it would’ve caught on elsewhere which I why I was also curious if anyone else had tried. Not one of those features that is easy to search for.

    I did not know GoboLinux before.

    Neither did I really. I definitely remember the logo and I must’ve looked at some aspect of it before, but clearly I never read much about its features until stumbling thru a side door, back in to their apparently defunct site.

    Not sure 100% what I think about it, but I agree it’s an interesting concept.

    #28345
    Member
    VWVW

    What I was saying is that if the original creators of GoboLinux have all given up on the distro, two years ago now, why?

    However, it would appear that the project is alive on Github and being updated by two men in Brazil and one in New Zealand.

    That’s my fault for not checking that distrowatch is correct.

    GloboLinux

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by VW.

    Never trust anybody who is too sophisticated to own a rubber chicken.

    #28609
    Member
    dghdgh

    I must’ve looked at the wrong page because I didn’t notice that much recent activity. Thanks for reviewing the project’s GitHub.

    I just read this sorta long but informative article from the project’s principle developer; http://gobolinux.org/index.php?page=doc/articles/clueless basically a long-form FAQ (FAQ++) addressing common criticisms and misconceptions.

    A segment I found insightful:
    Different situations imply different needs, and so-called standards that attempt to fit every feet in the same shoe are doomed to failure. Standardize on flexibility instead. That’s not we don’t propose the GoboLinux tree as a standard to be followed by anyone else. In five, ten or twenty years, we may have completely different needs from the ones we have today. I don’t want that the move away from the GoboLinux tree then to be as hard as the move away from the traditional Unix tree is today.

    I’m not knowledgable enough about system security to argue for or against the finer points of changing directory structure, eschewing from root users, etc (he touches on quite a few related topics) but I still like the concept(s). I agree with the so-called Unix philosophy of program modularity; doing 1 thing.. but I never fell in love with the inherited directory structure– merely became accustomed to it.

    I guess I’m saying this because while I hate something like systemd or pulseaudio for breaking (among other things) this wise philosophy, I don’t think altering the file hierarchy violates any of that. But like I said, I’m very far from being an expert on any of this.

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