Use of bin versus libexec

Kevin Krammer krammer at
Thu Sep 20 14:53:13 BST 2012

On Thursday, 2012-09-20, Thiago Macieira wrote:
> On quinta-feira, 20 de setembro de 2012 12.46.47, Jonathan Marten wrote:
> > There are a lot of executables in $KDEDIR/bin which are used for
> > internal purposes within KDE and are not intended to be directly
> > executed by the end user.  Having these in the user's $PATH is not
> > necessary and has overheads for the shell (and for the user, when
> > doing tab-completion of a command).
> Hello Jonathan
> During the 4.0 time, we did move several helper executables into libexec to
> free up bin. However, note that some executables remain in bin because they
> are often usable by users, including when we request help of them.
> Of course, it's been 5 years and some executables must have crept back in.
> The ones I didn't keep below mean I have no opinion on.
> > akonadi_*
> > akonadiserver
> Most of those are never meant to be run directly, including akonadiserver.
> I've manually run some of the agents for debugging purpose, but those were
> isolated cases and required reading the source code anyway.
> Akonadi is controlled by akonadictl. That's the one that should stay, plus
> akonadiconsole.

Agreed. It is important, however, to remember that some of those (e.g. 
akonadiserver, akonadi_control) are not KDE programs and can therefore not be 
in a KDE specific libexec location but have to go into a standard (FHS or location for that purpose.

> > kmail-migrator
> > kmailcvt
> User facing tool, should maybe stay. One of them, anyway.

We'll probably replace kmail-migrator with an explicit import at some point so 
I wouldn't care about that one.
Laurent is also working on a new import program so kmailcvt might go away as 
For the other migrators I think it makes sense to keep them in bin/ in order 
to be able to run them manually if needed.

Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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