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/etc getting big


/etc must be in / and / is supposed to be keep small.

Since almost every packages add files to /etc and they may survive
the removal of the package, /Etc may get big with time.

But in fact the real problem is that some package have really big
config files:

On my potato machine:
yellowpig% du -s /etc
6414    /etc

yellowpig% du -s /etc/* /etc/X11/* | sort -n | tail
99      /etc/mime-magic.dat
124     /etc/pcmcia
127     /etc/lynx.cfg
130     /etc/init.d
233     /etc/X11/flwm
324     /etc/texmf
423     /etc/magicfilter
489     /etc/X11
939     /etc/htdig
2481    /etc/samba

So almost all is in /etc/samba /etc/htdig and /etc/magicfilter.

This 3 packages put files in /etc that would probably be better in /usr/share:

yellowpig% du -s /etc/samba/codepages
2475    /etc/samba/codepages

Does a sysadmin really want to edit codepages tables ??? I hope not.

yellowpig% ls -l /etc/htdig/english.0
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root       923176 fév 29  2000 /etc/htdig/english.0

It is a dictionnary.

/etc/magicfilter/ contains filter for all printers.
a sysadmin will not modify them, but just copy one of them and edit it.

A possible solution for this kind of problems is to put files in /usr/share/
and symlink them in /etc, them explain to the sysadmin that if she really 
need to edit the file, she must remove the link and copy the file back.

In fact this scheme allows to keep a diff of your change whichis more
useful than the diff with the ne upstream version when you upgrade
the package.

/etc/X11/flwm is slighlty big because each menu entry is a file like
yellowpig% cat /etc/X11/flwm/wmx/Debian/Apps/Editors/Emacs\ 20\ DL
#! /bin/sh
# This file was automatically generated (see /usr/doc/menu).

Suppressing the warning would make the files smaller.

Bill. (Please CC)

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