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Re: Reducing downtime on system critical services

On Tue, Apr 04, 2000 at 06:12:21PM -0700, Kevin Dalley wrote:
> Craig Sanders <cas@taz.net.au> writes:
> > On Tue, Apr 04, 2000 at 03:42:17PM -0700, Kevin Dalley wrote:
> > > Ben Collins <bcollins@debian.org> writes:
> > > > Those aren't config files, they are scripts to be run. The files in
> > > > the spool directory are also checked (atleast normally) by crontab
> > > > before making them active. So there is some measure of safety in
> > > > this setup.
> > >
> > > They are conffiles, at least quite often. /etc/cron.d/postgresql is a
> > > conffile for postgresql.
> > 
> > config files and debian conffiles aren't the same thing.  
> conffiles are configuration files, almost always.  

i.e. 'config files are a subset of conffiles' - which is what i said.

more precisely, i should have said that the set of conffiles and the set
of config files often intersects.

> You can even check the policy manual section 4.7.1 for this.

 :  4.7.1. Definitions
 :  ------------------
 :       configuration file
 :            A file that affects the operation of program, or provides
 :            site- or host-specific information, or otherwise
 :            customizes the behavior of program.  Typically,
 :            configuration files are intended to be modified by the
 :            system administrator (if needed or desired) to conform
 :            to local policy or provide more useful site-specific
 :            behavior.
 :       `conffile'
 :            A file listed in a package's `conffiles' file, and is
 :            treated specially by `dpkg' (see the _Debian Packaging
 :            Manual_).
 :       The distinction between these two is important; they are
 :       not interchangeable concepts.  Almost all `conffiles' are
 :       configuration files, but many configuration files are not
 :       `conffiles'.
 :       Note that a script that embeds configuration information
 :       (such as most of the files in `/etc/init.d' and
 :       `/etc/cron.{daily,weekly,monthly}') is de-facto a configuration
 :       file and should be treated as such.

that's mostly correct, yet badly worded in the final paragraph and
missing some important information.

> In fact this section mentions that /etc/cron.* files are configuration
> files.

it happens to be wrong/inaccurate on that point. cron.* files are
conffiles but not config files. it should say "...is de-facto a
conffile and should be treated as such" - it's not that important from
a practical POV because it still gets across the idea that some scripts
have to be treated as conffiles, and it does make the point that they
are not interchangeable concepts.

> I used this conffile as an example of one type of configuration file
> which could create problems.

scripts are not config files. they may be conffiles, but (as you have
already admitted) conffiles and config files are not the same thing.

> Yes, you are correct, though irrelevant.  

no, i was both correct and relevant. you were arguing with ben about
whether cron.d scripts were config files or not. they're not, they're
scripts which happen to be conffiles, but they are not config files.

> Not all configuration files are conffiles.  There are differences
> between the two concepts.

yes, that's what i said.  and not all conffiles are config files.

> However, that statement is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

the statement was highly relevant to the discussion.

do you have anything meaningful to add to the discussion or are you just
arguing for the sake of arguing?


craig sanders

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