Debian Votes To Reinstate Merged-/usr File Movement Moratorium

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 17 May 2023 at 05:39 AM EDT. 20 Comments
The Debian Technical Committee has voted to reinstate the merged-/usr file movement moratorium.

Over the course of Debian 12 "Bookworm" development there has been some questions left open by developers around the state of a merged /usr file-system layout and upgrade path handling for existing Debian 11 users. While previously was the recommendation of a merged-/usr for Debian 12, it looks like this effort won't be wrapped up now until Debian 13 "Trixie".

The Debian Technical Committee voted in favor of reinstating the merged-/usr file movement moratorium. The Debian TC statement reads:
"Under Constitution 6.1.5, the Technical Committee recommends that the maintainers of individual packages should not proactively move files from the root filesystem to corresponding locations under /usr in the data.tar.* of packages. So, /foo/bar should not move to /usr/foo/bar.

Files that are in /usr in the Debian 12 release should remain in /usr, while files that are in /bin, /lib* or /sbin in the Debian 12 release should remain in those directories. If any files are moved from /bin, /lib* or /sbin into /usr after the Debian 12 release, they should be moved back to their Debian 12 locations.

This moratorium lasts until we vote to repeal it. We expect to do that during the trixie development cycle, and sooner rather than later. We will continue to facilitate efforts to resolve the remaining issues that stand in the way of safely repealing the moratorium."
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