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Re: RFC: OpenRC as Init System for Debian

On Fri, May 11, 2012 at 11:08:32AM -0400, Marvin Renich wrote:
> The FHS is very specific that /etc is for *Host-specific* system
> configuration, not upstream defaults or distribution-specific
> configuration.  The clear intent is that this is where files that are
> intended to be modified by the local system administrator are placed.

No, this is a total retcon.  When the FHS was written, this was definitely
NOT a shared understanding of a difference between "host-specific
configuration" and "upstream defaults / distribution-specific

Distribution defaults still would go in /etc whenever it was expected that
an admin might want to edit the file.  This has been the convention for more
than a decade.

> Files containing distribution-specific defaults, whether they match some
> definition of "configuration file" or not, do not belong here unless the
> they are also intended to be edited by the local sysadmin.

Yes.  The issue is not that either system is a violation of the standard,
because intent is relevant here.  If the upstream *intends* the file to be a
template that's overridden using a separate file, then /usr is the right
place.  If the upstream intends the user to edit the provided file to make
their changes, it belongs in /etc.  If the defaults are built into the
binary, that's perfectly fine too.

What *is* an issue is when upstreams decide to ship their defaults in /usr,
but require users to duplicate information between /usr templates and /etc
config files and ignore the contents of /usr in favor of the contents of
/etc.  This is also not a violation of FHS, but it IS a crappy design.

When software is not able to override configuration *settings* with fine
granularity via /etc, the entire thing should go under /etc.  Doing
otherwise makes this horrible for upgrades.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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