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

On Sat, Mar 29, 2003 at 12:52:55AM +0100, Goswin Brederlow wrote:
> last call for complains about where to mount a writeable filesystem
> when a RO / is to be used. The mountpoint is only to appear when a RO
> / is actually used so all you RW / users are totally unafected.

> Opions so far have been (in order of my preference): (did I miss any
> sensible ones?)

> /etc/volatile
> /run
> /mem
> /state
> /var/run
> /boot

"/mem" supposes a scope far greater than that which should be addressed
in the FHS.  I think the chances of getting FHS backing for such a
directory are nil, and it should therefore be removed from consideration.

"/state" is unduly confusing, because we had /var/state, which was
deprecated in favor of /var/lib, which is used for *persistent*
application state.  The files at issue all contain non-persistent state.

> Personally I realy dislike /var/run because it complicates things with
> /var usualy being its own mountpoint already. Is has been pointed out
> that /boot is also a bad idea so thats pretty much dead too.

Yep -- /boot is an existing directory with an established FHS definition
which in no way requires it to be mounted RW during normal operations.

> /mem conflicts with /mnt on tab completion, /run with /root and /state
> with /sbin. I need /mnt and /sbin more frequently than I need /root.

> /etc/volatile would be out of the way. No pollution of /. I think
> thats the best choise so far.

> Please complain now otherwise I will submit a patch that allows
> /etc/volatile to be used for writeable files during boot.

My preferences are reversed for the first two.  These files aren't
configuration at all, so the only justification for their inclusion under
/etc is "historical reasons".  It took me a while to even notice that tab
completion would be screwed up for /root, so I think tab completion is a
minor issue for this specific instance -- though it's one more reason why
all but the first two options are unsuitable.

Implementing /etc/volatile is a fairly innocuous change, and it would be
possible to move the contents to /run with a minimum of difficulty at a
later date if it becomes clear that the FHS would incorporate such a
change.  I still think it's best to put forth the additional effort to
get these files in /run straightaway, but I don't find /etc/volatile
completely inappropriate.

If we were to move on /run, however, I think the appropriate course of
action would be to change all Debian packages to use /run as the
*authoritative* location for these files, and provide
backwards-compatible symlinks in /etc only for the benefit of admins and
local software.  The FHS specifically addresses the matter of where the
*system* looks for the software, so nothing else would be suitable for a
proposed amendment to the standard, IMHO.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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