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Re: /usr vs. root was: /etc /usr/etc

On 5 Jul 1997, Manoj Srivastava wrote:

> 	I don't think that this proposal is ready for a fiat/vote
> resolution yet. We would need a little more detail IMHO. Could
> someone, for example, detail which conf files should be moved to
> /etc? Is there anyone in this forum that is on the FHS lists?

The division goes like this: if the program puts its config files in
/usr, they must go into /usr/etc; if the program puts its conffiles on
the root partition, they must go to /etc.

> 	I think that a major flaw in this proposal is that the
> division of conf files into machine local and site wide depends on
> the site it self (is emacs configuration site wide? No, since only
> the doc guys want to spend time setting up auctexand sgml.

You have user's .emacs for it.  It must depend on the user, not on the
machine one is working on.

> Is
> papersize site wide? maybe, depends on what printers and paper sizes
> are present and required).

This one must be discussed, but see below.

> Who decides which file is site wide? What
> happens if the local site disagrees?

Then, there are proposals which are designed for this situation.  For
site-wide conffiles, many people would like to make it like this: if
the conffile is found in /etc, use it; otherwise, look in /usr/etc.
Of course, it's only for the conffiles which belong to /usr, i.e.,
site-wide.  It won't work like this for files like /etc/passwd or
/etc/hostname.  They will always be in /etc.

> 	Making the boot smaller when the non-essential config files
> are less than 1Mb in size is not a good enough reason, seeing that it
> would entail breaking FSSTND compliance.

Many people pointed that we must have a clean solution, and if we find
a solution cleaner than one in fsstnd, we should use it.  I think we
found one.

> 	The proposal is flawed, because it does not solve the problem
> cleanly either (what if my site has a different idea about which
> packages have local changes than Debian does? Do I have to change
> conf files around?)

What do you mean?  If I understood you right, you mean that your site
may have different ideas about which config files are machine-local.

> 	Also, as a sysadmin, I really liked to have the conf files for
> all machines at a central location, and I used rdist. That allowed me
> to group machines into categories (DCE client machines, Server
> machines, file servers, print servers), allowed me the flexibility of
> distributing the same printcap file to all print clients, while
> having different fstab files; I could even have a cmmand execited
> when I updated /etc/aliases.

I already explained why this solution is better than rdist.  Make the
root partition changing as less as possible.  IMO having some of the
conffiles in /usr/etc is better.  Of course you must use rdist
sometimes, but not too much.


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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