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Re: wtmp management (Re: Slight Multiplicity)

Bill Mitchell <mitchell@mdd.comm.mot.com> writes:

> I'd say the debian distribution should

>   assume a plain-vanilla sysadmin strategy on the part of the user,
>   (I'd suggest assuming a standalone non-networked home system with modem)

I don't think that we need limit ourselves in that manner.  I believe
it is possible to avoid such assumptions (which will brand the Debian
system) and provide a distribution which is equally *good* for both
multi-user and single-user systems.

>   document that assumption clearly

We should document *everything* clearly, but not with any unnecessary slant.


> I'd say choosing a sysadmin strategy is properly the responsibility
> of the system operator, not the responsibility of the debian
> distribution maintainer

I agree, but I believe that the default behavior should be modeled
after the typical behavior of most UNIX/Linux systems.

This means that if the 'wtmp' file is cleaned out at boot with typical
UNIX systems, then we should try to do the same.  (I honestly have
never seen it cleaned automatically in any other Linux system.)

There are naturally going to be some activities which are better
suited for boot-based maintenance and some which are better suited for
cron-based maintenance.

For instance, cleaning of /tmp and /var/tmp is classically a boot-time
activity.  It should remain that way too.

On the other hand, activities which are particularly processor
intensive, such as forming the find-codes database, should be done
late at night (in a cron job).

These basic criteria should be used rather than gearing the Debian
system towards any particular type of user.

We should however include comments/documentation that say what the
user who does shut the system off every night needs to be doing.  (The
ability to sh a shell script or uncomment a line in an rc script would
be ideal.)


Daniel Quinlan  <quinlan@spectrum.cs.bucknell.edu>

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