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(Read addons and fixes to eFDS)

eCS File and Directory Standard (eFDS)

Version 1
2003 May 18
Edited by Nick Morrow
Approved for release by Mensys on 2003 May 18

SUMMARY

This standard consists of a set of requirements and guidelines for file and directory placement under the eCS operating system. The guidelines are intended to support interoperability of applications, system administration tools, development tools, and REXX or batch scripts as well as greater uniformity of documentation. This standard is written with simplicity and ease of use in mind. This document should not be expected to answer all questions at this point as it is a work in progress. You, the eCS user and developer are invited to provide feedback concerning this document. Please contact your eCS supplier with comments concerning this document.

1. Introduction

1.1. Purpose

This standard enables

  • Software to predict the location of installed files and directories, and
  • Users to predict the location of installed files and directories.

We do this by

  • Specifying guiding principles for each area of the filesystem,
  • Specifying the files and directories that are required,
  • Enumerating exceptions to the principles, and
  • Enumerating specific cases where there has been historical conflict.

The document is used by

  • Independent software suppliers to create applications which are eFDS compliant,
  • OS maintainers to maintain eFDS compliance, and
  • Users to understand and maintain the eFDS compliance of a system.

1.2. Conventions

Components that vary are represented by a description of the contents enclosed in "<" and ">" characters.

Optional components are enclosed in "[" and "]" characters and may be combined with the "<" and ">" convention.

Variable substrings of directory names and filenames are indicated by "*".

2. The Filesystem

It is possible to define two independent categories of files: shareable vs unshareable and variable vs static. There is a simple and easily understandable logic to understanding the reason for defining these categories:

Why are we separating directories into shareable and nonshareable?

Primarily for ease of administration. If a system administrator must search many locations in the file system because of a lack of clear guidelines or adherance to guidelines then a lot of time is wasted and the effort is more pron to errors.

Why are we separating directories into variable and static?

We need to take into consideration which directories should be read-only and which should be read-write. Static directories should be read only except to the system administrator while variable directories should be read-write for more users than the system administrator.

Shareable files are those which can be shared between different hosts.

Unshareable files are those which are specific to a particular host.

Static files consist of files that do not change without system administrator intervention. Examples include binaries, libraries, and documentation.

Variable files consist of files that do change without system administrator intervention. Examples include data files.

  • In a networked environment (i.e., more than one host at a site), there is a good deal of data that can be shared between different hosts to save space and ease the task of maintenance. If shareable files are grouped together in a logical manner a significant reduction in administrator workload can be realized.
  • In a networked environment, certain files contain information specific to a single host. Therefore these filesystems cannot be shared (without taking special measures).
  • Interspersing shareable and unshareable data in the same hierarchy makes it difficult to share large portions of the filesystem.
  • Interspersing variable and static data in the same hierarchy makes it difficult to implement a data backup plan.

Summarizing chart:

Note: eCS will contain the following minimum directories to meet eFDS-1 guidelines. Additional root directories will be needed and used on current releases of eCS due to the requirements of the supporting OS/2 operating system. The goal is to consistantly reduce until finally eliminating all directories not listed below.

shareable unshareable
static \programs \ecs, \etc
variable \home \var, \etc

  • \ecs
    - similar to root (/) in Linux
    - static, nonshareable files
    • read-only
    • will not be made available on the lan
    • must be located on host system
    • must be on the boot volume
    • must be one instance and no more on host system
  • \etc
    - similar to /etc in Linux
    - variable and static, nonshareable files
    • read-write
    • will not be made available on the lan
    • must be located on host system
    • must be on the boot volume
    • contains variable and static data requiring backup
  • \home
    - similar to /home in Linux
    - variable, shareable files
    • read-write
    • may be made available on the lan
    • does not need to be located on the host system
    • does not need to be on the boot volume
    • may be more than one instance on host system
    • contains variable data requiring backup
  • \programs
    - similar to /usr in Linux
    - static, shareable files
    • read-only
    • may be made available on the lan
    • does not need to be located on the host system
    • does not need to be on the boot volume
    • may be more than one instance on host system
  • \var
    - similar to /var in Linux
    - variable, nonshareable files
    • read-write
    • will not be made available on the lan
    • must be located on host system
    • does not need to be on the boot volume
    • must be one instance and no more on host system

Note: While there are similarities to the directory system in Linux one should not view this to mean that eCS is a re-implementation of Linux. eCS will implement a file and directory structure that best meets the needs of users and developers.

3. The Boot Volume

3.1 Purpose

The contents of the boot volume must be adequate to boot, restore, recover, and/or repair the system.

  • To boot a system, enough must be present on the boot volume to mount other filesystems. This includes utilities to modify, move and delete files in order to restore a satisfactory configuration. Required system utilities shall be contained in the appropriate directories in \ecs (or for now in \OS2). \ecs must be located on the boot volume on the host system. \home and \programs are designed such that they may be located on volumes other than the boot volume and may, in fact, be located on systems in the network other that the host system. \var is not required to be located on the boot volume but it must be located on the host system as the data contained in /var is non-shareable.

The primary concern used to balance these considerations, which favor placing many things on the boot volume, is the goal of keeping boot volume as small as reasonably possible. For several reasons, it is desirable to keep the boot volume small:

  • The boot volume contains many system-specific configuration files. This means that the boot volume isn't always shareable between networked systems. Keeping it small on servers in networked systems minimizes the amount of lost space for areas of unshareable files. It also allows workstations with smaller local hard drives.
  • Disk errors that corrupt data on the boot volume are a greater problem than errors on any other partition. A small root filesystem is less prone to corruption as the result of a system crash.
  • Smaller boot volumes permit greater flexibility in system setup and maintenance to include the use of bootable memory disks, remote boot volumes, and "universal" boot volumes customised to fit a particular line of identical systems.

Software must never create or require files or subdirectories in the root directory. Other locations in the eFDS hierarchy provide more than enough flexibility for any package.

There are several reasons why introducing a new subdirectory in the root directory is prohibited:

  • It demands space on a root partition which the system administrator may want kept small and simple for either performance or security reasons.
  • It evades whatever discipline the system administrator may have set up for distributing standard file hierarchies across mountable volumes.

3.2 Requirements

The following directories are required to meet eFDS standards:

  • \ecs operating system related directories - unshareable static files
  • \etc variable data files - unshareable variable and static files
  • \home user home directories - shareable variable files
  • \programs application directories - shareable static files
  • \var variable data files - unshareable variable files

3.3 Specific Options

The \ecs directory shall contain the following directories:

  • \ecs\bin essential command binaries (no subdirectories allowed)
  • \ecs\book .inf files
  • \ecs\boot device drivers
  • \ecs\dll essential shared libraries
  • \ecs\doc documentation files (contains only subdirectories)
  • \ecs\help .hlp files
  • \ecs\install installation files (contains subdirectories)
  • \ecs\lang national language support
  • \ecs\system essential system binaries (contains only subdirectories)

NOTE: \ecs\bin and \ecs\system both contain essential binaries but they are for very different purposes. \ecs\system contains only directories that hold files related to large complex packages, while \ecs\bin is for standalone system utilities. There is no implied GUI/CLI split; a CLI ini file editor and backup program can be a large complex package which should be located in \ecs\system, while a GUI volume manager could be a standalone binary located in \ecs\bin.

The \etc directory shall contain the following directories:

  • \etc\log system and non-user specific application log files

    Note: This is a chance since the release of eCS v1.1 which has the log file directory located as such: \var\log

The \programs directory shall contain only subdirectories which in turn will contain the files and subdirectories specific to a particular application. As an example:

  • \programs\browser would contain the static executable files required to run an internet browser.

The \home directory shall contain only subdirectories which in turn will contain the files and subdirectories specific to a particular user. As an example:

  • \home\\ would contain the directories which contain variable configuration and data files created, owned and maintained by . Another to view this directory is that if needs to back up his/her work then this is the only directory he/she should need to back up.

The \var directory shall contain the following directories:

  • \var\cache intended for cached data from applications. Such data is locally generated as a result of time-consuming I/O or calculation. The application must be able to regenerate or restore the data. Unlike /var/spool, the cached files can be deleted without data loss. The data must remain valid between invocations of the application and rebooting the system.
  • \var\spool contains data which is awaiting some kind of later processing. Data in \var\spool represents work to be done in the future (by a program, user, or administrator); often data is deleted after it has been processed.
  • \var\temp temporary files and directories

Each directory listed above is specified in detail in separate subsections below.

3.4 \ecs\bin : Essential user command binaries (for use by all users)

3.4.1 Purpose

\ecs\bin contains commands that may be used by both the system administrator and by users. It may also contain commands which are used indirectly by scripts or batch files.

3.4.2 Requirements

There must be no subdirectories in \ecs\bin.

\ecs\bin must be included in the SET PATH statement in CONFIG.SYS.

The following commands are required in \ecs\bin.

  • cpu.exe Utility to report the number of processors installed
  • mem.exe Utility to report the amount of memory installed
  • unzip.exe The unzip unarchiving utility
  • zip.exe The zip archiving utility

Note: This list needs to be updated prior to the next release of this document.

The requirement for a minumum set of system utilities to perform various maintenance and troubleshooting functions is vital to the capability to keep the system operating as desired.

3.5 ecs\boot : Static device driver files

3.5.1 Purpose

This directory contains device drivers with the exception of device drivers that must be located elsewhere such as BASEDEV drivers which must be located in "\" or "\os2\boot" in current releases of eCS.

3.5.2 Requirements

Device driver loading:

A clean boot is desirable. Default driver operation will be Quiet mode (/Q).

There are three situations where a driver may temporarily pause the boot process and/or post a message:

  1. If registration is pending.
  2. If the driver detects a problem during boot and needs to post a warning or error message.
  3. If the user tells the driver to post information by adding the /V (Verbose) parameter to the driver in the config.sys file.

4. CONFIG.SYS : Host-specific system configuration

4.1 Purpose

CONFIG.SYS contains much of the basic configuration information that is specific to a system. It is necessary that we define certain mandatory entries:

SET ETC=X:\etc SET ETC sets the environment variable ETC so that programs and utilities may determine the directory to be used for variable and static system configuration files.
SET TMP=X:\var\temp
SET TEMP=X:\var\temp
SET TMP and SET TEMP set environment variables so that programs and utility may determine the directory to be used for temporary files.
SET HOME=X:\home\ SET HOME sets the environment variable HOME so that programs and utilities may determine the directory which is currently designated as the HOME directory.
SET PROGRAMS=X:\programs SET PROGRAMS sets the environment variable PROGRAMS so that programs, utilities and software installers may determine the directory which is designated as the directory where all non-system programs and utilities should be installed.
SET LOGFILES=X:\etc\log SET LOGFILES sets the environment variable LOGFILES so that programs, utilities and software installers may determine the directory which is designated as the directory where all log files should be stored. utilities should be installed.

It is also necessary that we define certain programming guidelines:

  • Programs/utilities that create log files should check to see if LOGFILES is set and use it if it is. If LOGFILES is not set or the directory doesn't exist then log files should not be created. Log file names should follow this example:
        .log - estyler.log
        
  • Programs/utilities that use ini files to store user specific configuration information should check SET USER_INI= and use this directory to store ini files. Ini files should follow this example:
        .ini - estyler.ini 
        

    An example of the location: SET USER_INI=x:\home\stjohnb\etc\user.ini

    eStyler would then locate estyler.ini as such: x:\home\stjohnb\etc\estyler.ini

  • Programs/utilities that use ini files to store system wide configuration information should check SET SYSTEM_INI= and use this directory to store ini files. Ini files should follow this example:
        .ini - estyler.ini 
        

    An example of the location: SET SYSTEM_INI=X:\etc\system.ini

    eStyler would then locate estyler.ini as such: X:\etc\estyler.ini

  • Programs/utilities should always check to see if their ini exists and if it doesn't exist then a new one with reasonable defaults should be created. INI files should be standard OS/2 style binary INI files.
  • Programs/utilities should not make modifications to CONFIG.SYS with the exception of adding required device drivers nor should they use the user.ini or system.ini to store settings.

Additional information:


 

 
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