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GNU Coding Standards

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4.9 File Usage

Programs should be prepared to operate when `/usr' and `/etc' are read-only file systems. Thus, if the program manages log files, lock files, backup files, score files, or any other files which are modified for internal purposes, these files should not be stored in `/usr' or `/etc'.

There are two exceptions. `/etc' is used to store system configuration information; it is reasonable for a program to modify files in `/etc' when its job is to update the system configuration. Also, if the user explicitly asks to modify one file in a directory, it is reasonable for the program to store other files in the same directory.

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  Copyright 2003   by The Free Software Foundation     Updated Jun 2003