It's a Cycle of Life Thing: Managing Linux Releases
Subject:   file system hierarchy
Date:   2003-03-18 13:14:20
From:   anonymous2
You mentioned the BSDs being superior to Linux in this regard. FreeBSD basically puts *everything* that's not part of the core system in /usr/local. NetBSD does it better, they put stuff in ports (which they call pkgsrc) in the /usr/pkg tree, while leaving /usr/local clean for the sysadmin to add custom programs that aren't installed via a potentially upgrading pkgsrc. This makes upgrading of software a lot less disruptive under NetBSD than it can potentially get with FreeBSD; a sysadmin or user can rest assured that anything they added to the system is not interfered with, and if they want it to be interfered with (upgraded via "make update" in pkgsrc or upgraded via in /usr/src) it gets modified within it's own domain.