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1. GNUstep Filesystem Hierarchy

On GNUstep, there are four separate places where files related to GNUstep are installed: these places are called "domains". These four domains are the System domain, the Network domain, the Local domain, and the User domain. Each of these domains serve a special purpose.

You can install various things in each domain; for example applications, tools or libraries. Each domain should allow you to install the different types of resources or compiled software.

Starting with gnustep-make version 2.0, each GNUstep installation can specify how these domains should be organized and mapped to directories on the filesystem. A way to map GNUstep domains to filesystem directories is called a “filesystem layout”. A filesystem layout will specify in which directory System Tools are to be installed, for example. The description of various filesystem layouts (and instructions on how to create your own) can be found in the ‘FilesystemLayouts’ directory inside gnustep-make.

Applications, libraries, bundles and other resources are normally looked up in domains following a fixed order: User first, then Local, then Network, then System.

In this document we give a general overview of the GNUstep domains and of the interesting locations in a domain. We also describe the GNUstep filesystem layout.

The GNUstep filesystem layout is a good way to discuss domains, because it is very simple: in the GNUstep filesystem layout, every domain is mapped to a single directory on disk. For example, the System domain could be mapped to the ‘/usr/GNUstep/System’ directory, and everything that is installed into the System domain is then installed into some subdirectory of ‘/usr/GNUstep/System’. Before gnustep-make version 2.0, this was the only filesystem layout available.

Please keep in mind that (starting from gnustep-make version 2.0) this is not the case for a general filesystem layout; for example a typical FHS (Unix) layout might be installing System Tools in ‘/usr/bin’ and System Admin Tools in ‘/sbin’.

In fact, starting with gnustep-make version 2.6.0, the default filesystem layout is now the FHS (Unix) layout rooted in ‘/usr/local’.

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