How to determine modular paths?

Andy Ritger aritger at
Thu Nov 16 09:20:28 PST 2006

(This topic came up previously, but the feedback I have received is that
the thread didn't completely reach consensus)

What is the proper way for a 3rd party X driver installation tool to
know the correct path for installation?

In this thread:

it was suggested to use `pkg-config --variable=moduledir xorg-server`,
which seems reasonable to me.  The NVIDIA installation utility runs
these commands:

     pkg-config --variable=moduledir xorg-server
     pkg-config --variable=libdir xorg-server

to find the paths for X driver installation and X library installation 
(like libXvMC).

However, in many modular installations, the pkg-config command does
not work because the .pc file is not installed along with the X server,
but rather with the devel package which many users do not have installed.

Are the above pkg-config commands the correct way for 3rd party
installation tools to determine the paths where the related files should
be installed?

If so, then I'd like to argue that it should not require installing a
devel package in order to get the .pc file that defines these variables.
Rather, it would be very helpful if distributions adjusted their packaging
so that .pc files with these variables came with the xorg-server package,
without the need to specifically install a devel package.

FWIW, the NVIDIA installation utility attempts to guess at the modular
path if the pkg-config command does not work, but it's not completely
reliable.  Source to the utility is here:

- Andy Ritger

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