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Re: Recommended directory handling for games?

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: Recommended directory handling for games?
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 10:52:18 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

Bernd Jendrissek wrote:
> Kevin Locke <address@hidden> wrote:
> > When installing binaries and data files for a game, what are the
> > recommended practices?  The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard[1] (and
> > traditional practice) suggests that game binaries should be installed
> > into /usr/local/games and data files in /usr/local/share/games.

Traditionally games that were considered optional were placed in
/usr/games and /usr/local/games so as not to pollute the namespace in
/usr/bin but that is a pretty soft guideline.  Some "games" were
actually quite useful such as 'primes' and 'banner' and their
placement is somewhat arbitrary.

> > I am
> > wondering how to best achieve this with autoconf & automake.
> [...]
> > Finally, is any of this really necessary?  Although it is mentioned in
> > the FHS, the GNU standards don't appear to make any statement about
> > the location of games and game data.

The GNU autotools autoconf and automake follow specifically the GNU
standards and not the FHS.  That is not to say that the FHS isn't
important because it is.  It is just that the directory locations used
by the tools reflect the GNU installation standards.  Since there are
two standards to choose from a decision must be made and as a GNU tool
following the GNU standards is really the only sane course of action.

Typically when creating distribution packages such as rpms and debs
the packager would place the files into the FHS locations for packaged
distribution.  This mostly works out well because it means that when
users manually install with 'make install' using an automake generated
makefile that files install into the /usr/local hierarchy and when
they install with packages that files install into the /usr hierarchy
and there is no conflict.

> > Do systems other than Linux tend to make this distinction?  If so,
> > might it be a useful installation directory variable for future
> > versions of autoconf?

Some other systems place these kinds of things into
/opt/@PACKAGE_NAME@ and other places.  There is always another example
of someone who does something different.  I would not worry about it
too much and just do what makes the most sense to you.

> IMHO, this practice should be for the installer / packager to worry
> about, not the package author.  I'd say: just keep installing your
> binaries into ${bindir} as for any other autoconfiscated package.
> Then, if/when you make a binary package for one of the distros, add
> all the weird options such as:
>   ./configure --bindir=/usr/[local/]games
> --datarootdir=/usr/share/games --localstatedir=/var/games

I think that is what I would do too.  If there are a group of
non-program support files such as data files I would consider grouping
them together into a subdirectory just to keep things tidy though.


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