[Fedora-packaging] libexecdir, rpmlint, and Packaging Guidelines

Toshio Kuratomi toshio at tiki-lounge.com
Tue Jun 20 19:19:06 UTC 2006

I would like to have clarification of whether using libexec is in
accordance with the Fedora Guidelines or if packages using it should be

The usage of libexecdir for binary programs (not libraries) which are
not intended to be invoked by users, just other programs (gnome panel
applets are an example) is currently part of Fedora Core, the *BSDs, and
the GNU Coding Standards.  The FHS had libexecdir in a draft at one
point but apparently dropped it after a poll (The FHS mailing list
archives are currently inaccessible so I can't verify this)  Debian has
been vehement in its following the letter of the FHS so they set
libexecdir to /usr/lib/pkgname through configure.  If we decide libexec
is not allowed we should consider doing the same with our %configure

There have been several email threads related to libexecdir vs the FHS
on the fedora lists.  The last one I recall is here:

The thread brings up an issue which similar discussions on Debian
mailing lists fail to mention (because Debian is not multilib): On
multilib, you want one version of a helper program that matches the
wordsize of the main program, not one for 32 bits in /usr/lib and
another for 64 bits in /usr/lib64.  Thus /usr/libexec to match /usr/bin.

There have been several people who have said they intended to bring the
libexec lack to the attention of the FHS but with their mailing list
inaccessible I'm unable to check whether any discussion reached the FHS.

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