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My Ubuntu boot has iwconfig living in /sbin. I was under the impression that /sbin is usually for programs that are required for bootstrapping, or at least need to be available before /usr is mounted.

I don't really see how iwconfig fits either of these conventions, though. What's the rationale?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

As per Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, /sbin is a place where

Utilities used for system administration (and other root-only commands) are stored.

And yes, iwconfig may be needed by some startup scripts before /usr/ is mounted (if it uses a different partition) - therefore the place for it is not /usr/sbin/.

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Why not /usr/sbin, then? The FHS says it "contains any non-essential binaries used exclusively by the system administrator." I wouldn't exactly call wireless networks essential. – Maxpm Sep 2 '11 at 13:57
(See updated answer) Maybe you wouldn't, but some systems might need it, as it is related to network configuration. – rozcietrzewiacz Sep 2 '11 at 13:59
Note that for some systems, wireless might be the only network connection. – rozcietrzewiacz Sep 2 '11 at 14:01

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