Debian Repeals The Merged "/usr" Movement Moratorium

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 17 October 2023 at 08:39 AM EDT. 59 Comments
Debian 12 had aimed to have a merged "/usr" file-system layout similar to other Linux distributions, but The Debian Technical Committee earlier this year decided to impose a merged-/usr file movement moratorium. But now with Debian 12 having been out for a few months, that moratorium has been repealed.

In hoping to have the merged /usr layout ready in time for Debian 13 "Trixie", yesterday that moratorium was repealed. Debian's UsrMerge Wiki page tracks the effort for those wishing to learn more about this modernization of the directory structure.
"This page tracks Debian support for the merged /usr directories scheme, i.e. the /{bin,sbin,lib}/ directories becoming symbolic links to /usr/{bin,sbin,lib}/. "

With yesterday's repeal the new recommendation is:
"Under Constitution 6.1.5, the Technical Committee now recommends that maintainers consult with those driving the merged-/usr transition before moving files from the root filesystem to corresponding locations under /usr in the data.tar.* of packages.

The transition driver, which at the time of writing is Helmut Grohne, is using a phased approach, in which the moratorium is rolled back for only certain classes of packages, and changes, at a time. In addition, restructuring uploads should be targeted at experimental, and left for three days. This is in order that automated testing by dumat can occur.

We recommend following, as edited by the transition driver(s). If there is any doubt as to whether a change you wish to make is appropriate, please seek explicit approval from the transition driver(s)."

Debian's merged /usr transition will hopefully be all wrapped up in time for the Debian 13 release in about two years time.
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