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Re: Proposal: A config file for runlevels (DRAFT)

maor@ece.utexas.edu (Guy Maor)  wrote on 02.01.97 in <[🔎] 87vi9fu7jq.fsf@slip-86-11.ots.utexas.edu>:

> Winfried Truemper <winni@xpilot.org> writes:
> > I view the
> > rc.d-directories as files because they only contain links
> That's a very simplistic view.  It is much more difficult, in my

Actually, especially considering that, according to POSIX, a symlink is  
_nothing but_ a directory entry, it's a fairly accurate description.

> opinion, for a bug to corrupt other lines in a file than to corrupt
> other files in a directory.

On first thought, I would have agreed. However, I found I can't actually  
justify that opinion.

If people mess with this by hand, they are - IMHO - much more likely to  
make a mess from the symlinks than from the textfile. Further, it's really  
simple to save backups of the textfile; ISTR that we already do that for  
some important textfiles.

As to the tool damaging it, I don't see why there would be a difference  
between the two cases.

True, it's hard to make the filesystem break in those directories. But you  
don't need that to mess up. It's very easy to remove those links without  
even noticing, and if you manipulate them by hand, I'd expect a fairly  
high probability of messing up - actually higher than with the textfile.

I still don't particularly like the textfile. But I'm pretty sure that  
this is simply because I'm used to the other version. (And I must also say  
that I'm not that fond of configuration-by-symlink. It seems like a misuse  
of symlinks.)

Compatibility is only an issue if there are packages that want to  
manipulate those directories without going through update-rc. Are there?  
(And would it be a solution to keep the directories, and having a simple  
program that did a cleanup after such installations, removing the links  
and adding the information to the textfile?)

> There is another option which you might want to explore - make a
> package called alt-initrc.  It would contain your config file and a
> program which would parse it and create the appropriate links in
> /etc/rc*.
> You would also write a program to edit the config file.  It would
> first verify that the config file matches the current layout to ensure
> that the administrator hasn't modified the links by hand.  It would
> then allow editing of the file, with a lock if you desire.  Finally it
> would make the /etc/rc* links correspond to the new file.

That might be nice as an experiment, but it doesn't seem to have much  
practical value.

MfG Kai

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