[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Which files in /usr/sbin?

On Thu, 18 Jan 1996, Bruce Perens wrote:

> > Here is a list of programs potentially useful for regular users:
> In the case of "zdump", if it is possible for a user to compile and use
> their own private time zone without assuming super-user powers, the program
> should be in one of the public directories. If that is not possible, the
> program may stay where it is.

Right now, it is not possible to do that. However, there is a bug report 
which asks for something like this. I don't know yet what the upstream 
developers think about adding that feature.

> In the case of "mkfs", "chat", etc., these programs are used when the
> system manager has delegated some system manager privileges to a particular
> group of users (the floppy and modem groups, and so on). The programs
> themselves still run system manager tasks, and one could make a case that
> they belong in the system manager bin.

I occasionally use dip to connect to BBS's. I don't have minicom 
installed and dip gives me a decent terminal emulation. I don't consider 
this to be a system manager task at all. It's a nonstandard way to use a 
system utility (SLIP manager) as a regular user. But I still think its 
main use is to manage SLIP connections and therefore it should stay in sbin.

The same goes for the floppies. I don't consider that formatting a 
floppy disk is a system manager task, unless you understand by "system" 
your computer plus all possible floppies that users will introduce in its 
drives. Is that a reasonable definition?
However, since formatting hard drives is essential for the system, I 
think that mkfs should stay in sbin even though it might be useful for 

I am more convinced that the fsstnd definition is too simplistic. I am 
going to file a bug report on that. Do you know who is responsible for 
that within Debian?

> Most of the programs you list may be of casual interest to the regular
> user who would use them to reveal system exotica, but do not have any
> relevance to work the regular user would be doing.

There is traceroute and ping, which my users could run to check whether I 
lost the connection to the rest of the world , even though its main 
purpose is for sysadmins to do the same. Why users would want to do it?
If I lost the connection, they might decide to hang up and go to sleep.
It's not only exotica. It can be in fact be useful for them even though 
that's not the main purpose.
The same goes for smail, httpd, ldconfig, rdate and start-stop-daemon to 
name a few. Should I file a bug report on those too? I think there is one 
on ldconfig because of the same thing.

On the other hand, is there a real purpose for /bin/uname other than to 
reveal system exotica? Do users really _need_ it? And what about /bin/df?
Shouldn't it be in /sbin?

Maybe layout bugs/complaints should be forwarded to the Debian "layout 
arbitrator". Who is currently close to being it?

	Fernando Alegre

Reply to: