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

On Thu, 3 Jul 1997 J.R.Blaakmeer@student.utwente.nl wrote:

[.. snip ..]

> You could run a script regularly on all workstations at boot time (or from
> the crontab if they don't boot very often), that would check if there were
> any new files in /usr/etc. A file would be 'new' if there wasn't a symlink
> (with the same name) to it in /etc and if there wasn't a file with the same
> name in /etc. I can't imagine writing such a script will be difficult.

Isn't this a special case, though, of the more general situation of
a change in the root partition of the central machine (the one providing
the shared /usr filesystem) having had a change made in its root
partition which needs to be propagated to all the debian machines
sharing its /usr filesystem?  Such a change might as easily be due
to a new /bin/bash binary having been installed due to a bash package
upgrade or due to a site-specific manual change maqde by the sysadmin
to /etc/profile as it might be due to config files moving between /etc
and /usr/etc.

It seems to me that there is one class of files which the outlying
machines need to keep sync'd with the common machine (e.g., /bin/bash,
/etc/profile), and another set of files which the outlying machines
want to keep machine-specific (e.g., /etc/hostname).  Given this, it
seems more logical to me to have one general-purpose script to
do all of the necessary root filesystem sync'ing than to have
one script to track config file changes and other scripts to do
other needed sync'ing.

> > > - Have one workstation that is slightly different from the rest and only
> > > place the files that are different in /etc instead of the symlink.
> > 
> > What would the difference be?  Different emacs config?  Why?  Let's do
> > it like in other Unices -- there are plenty of config files in /usr,
> > and everyone mounts /usr read-only.  What's the problem with Linux,
> > may I ask?  What's the difference?  For decades we have config files
> > in /usr on other Unices.

As one example, I can imagine different machines needing to have
different ppp configuration files.  Those, then, would go directly
into /etc instead of into /usr/etc with a symlink from /etc.

> I was more thinking of one workstation that has one piece of hardware
> different from the others. But if that isn't the case in your situation,
> forget about it.

Yeah.  Different video chipset, multiple ethernet cards, different
serial port usage, different (or more, or less) ppp link(s), different
selection of printer, ...

[.. snip ..]

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