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Re: Bug#191037: /run/, resolvconf and read-only root


On Mon, Apr 28, 2003 at 05:54:37PM -0400, Sam Hartman wrote:

> >>>>> "Jamie" == Jamie Wilkinson <jaq@debian.org> writes:
>     Jamie> This one time, at band camp, Sam Hartman wrote:
>     >> Until you get general consensus on a specific goal, I'm
>     >> unlikely to accept such changes if they are submitted to me.
>     >> As a maintainer I want to be able to look at some statement and
>     >> answer the following questions:
>     Jamie> Hi Sam,
>     Jamie> I've just filed the bug with my patch to pam.  My goal is
>     Jamie> not specifically a read-only root (although that may be a
>     Jamie> useful by-product of it) but just to remove any program
>     Jamie> state out of /etc.  It is my firm belief that programs
>     Jamie> should not be writing anything to /etc.
> I'm not sure I agree with this goal.  I don't specifically disagree
> yet, but what you are proposing is a change in Unix semantics.  If the
> rest of the world goes along with this, I will, but I'm somewhat
> unconvinced it is the right direction.

It's a change, but the meaning of the files that are present in /etc/
won't change. It's only that some more dynamic and volatile files are
moved away.

The spirit of this idea is already in our FHS. In a lot of cases, its
guidelines are already a lot more detailed than those of the commercial
unix vendors.

Other than that, I think it's safe to say currently that the Free / Open
*nixes have become the leading innovators in the field of Unix. I don't
think we'll make much progress if we wait till the commercial unixes
come up with solutions with the problems we want to solve -- especially
if that are problems they care little about, because they cater for a
narrower group of users than we do.

There are few operating systems that have such broad targets as Debian;
the goal is to be the Universal Operating system, no less. Indeed, most
Unixes don't run on embedded systems, a lot don't run diskless, most are
unsuitable for laptops or even desktops, and so on.

> I'd certainly feel better if there were a broader consensus than just
> Debian before moving in this direction.

I think if Debian comes up with a good idea that's applicable to any
Unix, be it Free/Open/NetBSD or the commercial *nixes, it would be a
waste to wait with the implementing it till the others adopt it before

Also, others may not adopt till they have seen a succesful
implementation. Incidentally, this also applies to the FHS.

> So, for now I'll sit back and see what other people do about /run.

If you mean other GNU/Linux distributions or the *BSDs, don't hold your
breath. If you mean Debian developers, it seems that a lot of good
progress is being made.



E-Advies - Emile van Bergen           emile@e-advies.nl      
tel. +31 (0)70 3906153           http://www.e-advies.nl    

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