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

On Tue, 1 Jul 1997, Yann Dirson wrote:

> So we agree it could be fine to have site-wide conffiles in
> /usr/etc, that it would be fine to be able to override them in /etc
> (though Vadim seems reluctant about that), and that it is a bad idea
> to have symlinks from /ets to /usr/etc.

I hope everybody understands why I don't like the symlinks idea (I've
repeated it 6.9e42 times already:).  I agree that symlinks is a bad idea.

> Then I guess that having some sort of "search path" for config files,
> that is looking first if /etc contains a conffile, and only if not,
> taking the one installed in /usr/etc. This could even be made to use
> conffiles for groups (sub-sites) of computers, by using
> /etc:/nfs/mygroup/etc:/usr/etc as a search path.

Cool.  I agree it's cool.  It will take more work than my simple
standard solution, but it's nice.

> You probably spotted the problem: this would probably require to
> change individual programs to conform to this, and it would be quite
> difficult to have all programs work like that. We could probably speed
> up the conversion process by providing a library to handle that.

Not a shared lib, tho.  Statically linked one.  I can write it (after
all, this mess was my idea).

> Another solution, probably needingless work, would be to implement
> some mechanism in the filesystem driver (yes, I do seem to like this
> kind of ideas :) to make all reference to an inexistant file under
> /etc be handled as a link to a file of the same name under
> /usr/etc. That would be some sort of "default link" associated with a
> directory. Such a mechanism, when properly detected by autoconf and
> handled by user-programs, might help other programs too (though I
> hardly see which ones for now :)

Nah.  It's too hairy for this simple thing.  I think the first
solution is better. 

> Any comments on this ?

I repeat: look at other Unices.  Their solution is as simple as it can
be: a config file in /usr, that's all.  But your first solution is
acceptable, too.

Live long and prosper,

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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