Please add GNU id-utils to Fedora

Jim Meyering jim at
Fri May 11 10:07:40 UTC 2012

Pádraig Brady wrote:
> On 05/11/2012 09:14 AM, Jim Meyering wrote:
>> Miloslav Trmač wrote:
>>> On Thu, May 10, 2012 at 9:49 PM, Greg McGary <greg.mcgary at> wrote:
>>>> Minor conflict: the name of one of id-utils main commands "lid" is also the
>>>> same as an existing command, though installed in a different place.  id-utils
>>>> has /usr/bin/lid, while libuser has /usr/sbin/lid.
>>> Yeah, that's come up before.  There's no great solution I'm afraid,
>>> one or the other will have to change
>> Technically there is no need to change a name.
>> In Debian, one can have two lid programs installed, one in /usr/bin
>> and the other in /usr/sbin[*], so why not in Fedora?
>> Sure, a different solution would be better, but renaming a command like
>> idutils' lid (in use by some for >15 years) does not seem reasonable.
>> Any opinions on whether this issue is big enough to NAK
>> a review request or addition of the package to Fedora?
> Well /usr/sbin is proposed to be merged with /usr/bin in Fedora 18

I note that it's not yet on the approved feature list:

> Anyway I think having the same name in different paths is too problematic.

I agree that it is sub-optimal, but it seems slightly better than a renaming.

> id-utils (1996) seems to predate libuser (2001), so it's
> unfortunate that libuser picked the clashing name.

It goes back pretty far.  From idutils.texi's history node:

    First posted to comp.sources.unix in September 1987 under the name "id".
    "mkid version 2" was posted to alt.sources in 1990.
    Renamed to id-utils in 1996.

> I'm not sure what to suggest though.
> The simplest is to rename the id-utils lid on fedora,
> which will not break anything, but does introduce awkwardness

I'm reluctant to make such a change (be it upstream or just for Fedora)
because it would break any existing script/alias that invokes lid,
introducing a Fedora-specific incompatibility with upstream and with
all other existing installations.

For those who use idutils, I suspect "lid" is second in use-frequency
only to "gid", so muscle memory is an issue, too.

> in future script portability, needing something like:
>   lid-utils > /dev/null && LID=lid-utils || LID=lid
> /etc/alternatives probably isn't appropriate as I'm
> assuming the commands do not overlap in functionality.

Right.  Regarding functionality, they do not overlap at all.

Put it this way: in the package review process,
*must* the name conflict be cause for rejection?

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