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Re: Proposal: /etc /usr/etc /usr/local/etc

On 30 Jun 1997, Tomislav Vujec wrote:

> Because in this way, you can alter config files for each
> workstation. They don't have to share same configuration, infact, they 
> usually have different configuration, at least at my office.

Why should you have different config files for programs like emacs on
every one of hundreds of machines you have?  You must alter only
machine-local config files, not site-wide ones..

> You can simply copy configuration for each workstation, and let users
> configure it.

Yeah, exactly.  Let's consider I have hundreds of them!

> But many people want to mount their /usr partition as
> read-only. Putting config files on read-only partition makes
> administration very havy task.

See above about site-wide configuration files.  Consider the
experience of Unix: there were some reasons they put the config files on
/usr, and one of the reasons is what I gave you: if you have too many
machines, you will have to install a program only once.  BTW, that's
the problem with NT: when you install a program there, you must copy
the DLLs to each one of the workstations.  And imagine what problems
we have here (the University staff _ordered_ us to install NT for some

And I know what I'm talking about, because although we don't use Linux
here, but we have hundreds of BSDI workstations, tens of Suns and tens
if SGIs.  And, using local configuration and filesystem, we install
each program _only once_ (well, three times: on BSDI file server,
SunOS file server and Irix file server).  And we don't touch users'
workstations after that.  Because if we did, we would need to hire
many people for doing only that ;) That's what I expect Debian to be:
once you install the program, you leave it alone.

> P.S. Maybe you should read files in /usr/doc/debian-policy/fsstnd/
> also known as Linux File System Standard, to find more descriptive
> answers to your questions/proposals.

Believe me, I did.  So some quotes from there:

3.4 /etc: Machine-local system configuration

/etc contains configuration files and directories, which are local to
the current system.

And another:

4.5  /usr/etc : Site-wide system configuration
Any configuration files that need to be site-wide and are not needed
before /usr is mounted (or in an emergency situation) should then be
placed in /usr/etc.
It is not recommended for /usr/etc to contain symbolic links that
point to files in /etc.  This is unnecessary and interferes with local
control on machines that share a /usr directory.

IMO fsstnd should be changed, too.  But I don't see that what I
propose is against fsstnd.


Vadim Vygonets * vadik@cs.huji.ac.il * vadik@debian.org * Unix admin
The fish doesn't think, because the fish knows...  everything.
	-- Arizona Dream

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