Linux and the flood of derivatives

In the last few months, I have explored numerous versions of the Linux operating system. While the Linux community celebrates the vast number of variants available, it can be overwhelming to navigate. Working with different Linux versions can lead to chaos. One reason for this is that each software developer or programmer interprets the directory structure differently. It is important to have a clear and consistent structure to avoid confusion and errors.

Whilst one distribution stores the binary main file in var, opt or share, the next thinks it belongs in etc, local or usr. The room for interpretation as to what belongs where is huge and even literature such as the ever-popular LPC1 or LPC2 only provide vague information. The result is a completely confused directory structure, which can even be repeated several times in the subfolders of the corresponding directories. The aforementioned share or local can be found in several other folders and their children. Configuration files are freely assigned by the authors to wherever they feel like it. While one application stores his configs in etc/default, others move something to local/share or var, opt, usr or even var/data.


The result is a totally annoyed user who has nothing else to do all day and has to think over and over again where this or that configuration file (json, ini, jaml, and, and, and, etc.pp.) is hidden. The documentation is usually large and voluminous, but the really important things are often hidden in the margins, or not at all. You will often find what you are looking for after a long and intensive external search.

The average Linux user considers all of this to be normal. They often refer to the manpages, which list information in a dry and abstract manner, making it unclear. It is often difficult to find the specific information you are looking for.