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Re: ifupdown writes to /etc... a bug?

In article <87adftsgsm.fsf@mrvn.homelinux.org>,
Goswin Brederlow  <goswin.brederlow@student.uni-tuebingen.de> wrote:
>"Marco d'Itri" <md@Linux.IT> writes:
>> On Mar 17, Thomas Hood <jdthood0@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>>  >If a consensus is emerging that /run is needed, what's the next
>>  >step?  Amending policy to allow for the directory (currently
>>  >forbidden by FHS)?
>> I do not think there is such a consensus. 

Unfortunately I have to agree. Nothing solid came out of the
discussion, I think. I'm still not sure if I should provide
a /run directory in sysvinit, or not.

>> Many people pointed that after teaching programs like mount to follow
>> symlinks the problem can easily be solved by the local admin.
>No it can't and mount already follows symlinks. Thats why linking to
>/proc/mounts works unless you need the extra infos for loopback or
>quota thats stored only in a normal /etc/mtab.

No, mount doesn't follow symlinks correctly. If it sees that mtab
is a symlink it will simply not modify it at all, which is
not what you want. You want mount to follow the symlink if it
doesn't point to /proc and do it's tempfile creation etc in
the directory the link points to.

>Anyway, the problem remains that you need a palce to write data at a
>time when there is no place to write to. No matter where you say it
>should go to you first need to make something writeable.
>I don't like the idea of a ramdisk because its eigther too smal or to
>big but never right sized. tmpfs might be suitable but you have to
>adapt software to utilize the place where its mounted or to correctly
>function with symlinks to there.
>Providing a state fs that you mount in place of a file would solve all
>the problems without any change in userspace software. I think thats
>still the best aproach.

No it doesn't, because for example mount does this:

fd = open("/etc/mtab.TMP", O_RDWR|O_CREATE, 0666);
write(fd, "/dev/hda / ext3 ...", 100);
rename("/etc/mtab.TMP", "/etc/mtab");

That isn't going to work with a state fs.

Besides, you can already mount things in place of a file. Create a file
in /dev/shm, and bind-mount it over a file in /etc. Works fine. But
it isn't enough, since it will not work with the above.

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should
on no account be allowed to do the job -- Douglas Adams.

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