[TUHS] Difference in purpose of /var/spool vs /var/lib

Grant Taylor gtaylor at tnetconsulting.net
Fri Dec 15 09:00:32 AEST 2017

Can anyone enlighten me on the effective difference in the use of 
/var/spool vs /var/lib?

It's my understanding that spools are for files that are in transit. 
Effectively like packages moving through a shipping depo or people 
waiting in line.  I.e. they come in, they hang around for a while, and 
then they leave.

I'm of the opinion that files in /var/lib should stick around longer and 
are not nearly as dynamic (if at all, save for code updates).

As sure as I type this, I can't think of a reason library files would go 
under /var vs a different */lib directory.

Does it make any difference if the files are actually executed and / or 
consumed on the system?

I don't consider the POP3 / IMAP / NNTP server to be processing files 
when people access messages / articles (read: files) via the respective 

Back story:  I'm considering writing something that will download a file 
every day and process the last day's / week's / month's file(s) to 
generate output which is itself stored elsewhere.  -  I feel like these 
files should live in the /var/spool/<bla> subdirectory.

Grant. . . .
unix || die

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