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Re: RFC: New required package: libblkid1

On Wed, Mar 19, 2003 at 11:40:47PM -0500, Theodore Ts'o wrote:

> > Since you'd be adding to the /etc written stuff do you have any comment
> > on the thread that was on here recently about moving things which are
> > written to out of /etc and into somewhere else (such as /run)?

> I think /run is stupid.  People who think that /etc should only be
> config files are being just way too anal.  Yeah, the FHS didn't
> specify that there were certain writeable files which were necessary
> during the boot process before /usr and /var is mounted.  However, the
> FHS also does specifically calls out the following writeable files as
> being in /etc: adjtime, mtab.  

> I ask you: what specific problem does creating a new top level
> directory solve,

The problem of being able to set up machines with read-only root
filesystems without undue pain, and without causing corresponding pain
for users of diskless systems.  The problem of implementing a filesystem
layout suitable for the Universal Operating System.

> /run and /etc have to be on the root partition, and the files need to
> be persistent, so it can't be a memory based filesystem.

No, the files it's been suggested that /run be used for do not require
that it be on the root partition; it just needs to be writable, and
mounted early.  It also does not need to be persistent.  If this new
file is expected to be a persistent cache, it doesn't sound like it fits
within the parameters of the hypothetical /run.

> Why do we really want to separate configuration files such as
> /etc/fstab from files like /etc/mtab?  Being gratuitously different 
> from other Unix systems just to satisfy some abstract principle that
> /etc "should be configuratoin files only" is just an idiotic idea.

Then perhaps the FHS itself should be thrown out as an idiotic idea,
given that it codifies a system layout that differs in many aspects from
traditional Unices.  It's also traditional to carry binary executables
around in /etc, but we seem to be doing just fine without that bit of
conformity.  I don't see any reason this couldn't eventually be extended
to move /etc/mtab elsewhere -- after a suitable transition period.  The
abstract principle of grouping like files according to their functions
and storage needs is a useful one that takes a lot of the guesswork out
of laying out a system.

That said, it seems like this proposed cache fits in /etc as well as it
fits anywhere else, currently.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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