Subject: Re: Prebuilt binaries with /usr/local?
To: Paul Hoffman <>
From: Alistair Crooks <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 01/05/2001 03:09:10
On Thu, 4 Jan 2001 20:03:53 -0800, Paul Hoffman wrote:

>  I understand that all the prebuilt binaries use /usr/pkg for history 
>  sake. However, it is clear that /usr/local is probably more desired 
>  by many people in practice.

I think that's highly debatable. We had this discussion before pkgsrc was
started, which was when the default was chosen. (It's still a matter of some
regret to me that I didn't switch Solaris pkgsrc to use /usr/pkg, but there
were other external forces at work there). Others have pointed out the
utility of having separate /usr/local and LOCALBASE, and I would agree
wholeheartedly with them. I'd also point out that my personal preference
originally was to have LOCALBASE as /usr/local, but my views have changed
over the years, and I now passionately believe that separated /usr/local and
LOCALBASE is the right thing to have.

>  Would the package gods consider having 
>  *two* trees at 
><release>/<arch>/? Add in a 
>  layer of "usrpkg" and "usrlocal", with the current directories 
>  symlinked to "usrpkg".
>  --Paul Hoffman

I don't know if I qualify as a package god, but, being the one who imported
it and set it up: the binary packages are built with as many default options
as possible. The understanding is that if you have an option which is not
the default, then you'll have to rebuild the package to accommodate your

Please also note that it is actually quite rare for packages to be
location-independent - you'd be surprised how many packages compile in the
value of LOCALBASE and use it in binaries, configuration files, manual
pages, etc. That's why you're better off compiling something for yourself -
we are talking about pkg*src* after all :-)


Alistair Crooks (

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