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Re: data files in /etc?

On Thu, Feb 12, 2004 at 10:47:15PM +0100, Magosányi Árpád wrote:
> There are some files in /etc which are actually data files representing
> the state of the system. Like /etc/mtab, /etc/network/ifstate, or
> /etc/lvmconf/* (it is not even a text file).
> These files are written by programs in occasions one cannot with good
> heart call configuration. Isn't it against the policy?

> There are practical reasons behind my question:
> -if one uses a configuration management tool (like tla) to track changes
>  in the configuration, one will stumble upon them sooner or later.
> -if one wants to make the boot process unable to modify configuration,
>  they will also be stumbled upon. (And given the fact that mount
>  actually deletes and recreates /etc/mtab, the challenge is...
>  challenging.)

There is a gray area currently, because the FHS contains no provision
for state files (persistent or not) that are available prior to /var
being mounted.  Discussion of this issue on debian-devel was extensive
last year, but it seems the farthest it got was "get the FHS to sanction
it, then we'll consider it".

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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