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Re: administration of initscripts

Bob Proulx wrote:
> Joel Roth wrote:
> > Roger Leigh wrote:
> > > Getting rid of all the /etc/default disable options will be a release
> > > goal for jessie.
> > 
> > Good. I'd prefer to be rid of /etc/default entirely!
> So you would rather that people edit the /ec/init.d/* scripts
> themselves and manage them as conffiles at upgrade time and merge them
> all at upgrade time?  Because AFAIK that is the advantage that
> /etc/default/* brings.  It allows a very small declarative file to
> modify the behavior of the /etc/init.d/* imperative progamming.

Thanks. That at least answers the question of why they're there.
> Basically anything that happens at boot time operates through the init
> scripts.  If the init scripts offer a declarative way to configure
> themselves then allow those variables to be in /etc/default/*.  The
> merging of the default files upon upgrade is much easier than the
> merging of the init scripts upon upgrade.  Using /etc/default is very
> simple and straight forward.
> > For example, I just learned about /etc/default/keyboard.
> > 
> > Why not /etc/keyboard or /etc/keyboard.default? Having a central
> > location for software configuration used to be a feature.
> There are 2409 files in my /etc directory.  You want them all flat at
> the top level directory?  Please, no thank you.  I will happily take a
> little bit of organization and put files in subdirectories.
> At one time the /etc directory used to be a very large flat directory
> as you are wanting.  It had thousands of files in it.  It was quite
> difficult to keep track of files there.  Moving files into
> subdirectories is a very useful organization.
> > At the very least, whenever there is /etc/default/something,
> > /etc/something should have a comment
> > 
> > # see /etc/default/something for additional configuration options
> Please no.  Thousands and thousands of files.  And all duplicates of
> files elsewhere.  There would be many people who would be confused by
> the extra noise and adding configuration in the wrong file.  And
> subsequent bug reports asking to remove those files.

As an extra line to existing config files, it would seem
sensible, but then, as you say, /etc/ is now hierarchical,
so which file would you add the comment to becomes an
intractable question.

Obviously, some other people have thought more deeply about
this than myself. :-)

I suppose the answer is that there is no shortcut to
administering a system than learning the details.
(Well, except the user-friendly cocoonlike existence
that is the default experience under Windows and OSX.)


> Bob

Joel Roth

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