Package maintainers always try to fit a product into the file hierarchy given/mandated by the OS/distribution. They separate the application from the configuration to have one common place for every bit. Currently, Maven does not properly support his. conf/ is tightly coupled with maven.home property and cannot be changed unless the Java code changes. Impossible for a maintainer to stick to FHS or heir(7). By introducing a maven.conf property in m2.conf, a maintainer can easily move the configuration files to /usr/local/etc/maven3, decouple it from the installation.