[lug] System configuration files
zlynx at acm.org
Tue Jul 29 14:16:08 MDT 2003
Don't use /var for configuration files. /var is for changing data
files. /etc is the place for configuration data. /etc is like the
Registry in Windows.
I like programs that use /etc/<package> for their files.
Many packages use autoconf. You can configure where they put their
configuration files by using the options to ./configure. When you build
the package, try ./configure --help first and see what options you have.
When you build a lot of packages, you'll probably want to create a
configure shell script so you don't need to repeat all your options each
On Tue, 2003-07-29 at 14:04, Jeff Schroeder wrote:
> Hey all!
> I've rolled my own Linux distribution, basically by compiling all the
> software packages I need from their source code, and as I continue
> developing this distro I find myself running into problems with system
> configuration files.
> For example, if you want to configure Apache you need to modify
> httpd.conf, which is usually in /var/httpd/conf (or maybe
> /usr/local/httpd/conf, or even /opt/apache/conf). MySQL's main
> configuration file is usually in /usr/local/var/my.cnf. An FTP server
> relies on /etc/ftpaccess. And so on, and so on.
> I'd like to bring all these configuration files into one place, where
> they can be easily managed by simply going into a subdirectory with the
> application name and editing the appropriate files. Obviously one
> would still need some understanding of the file formats and so on, but
> it would certainly save one from needing to know the disparate
> locations of all these files.
> My initial thought was to place everything in /etc/conf/<package>, but
> in reading the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard-- which applies to Unix
> and Linux systems-- it seems a more logical choice would be somewhere
> in /var. However, there's no indication (at least in the FHS) of this
> sort of idea, so I thought I'd toss it to the collective brainpower of
> the LUG.
> My idea, then, is to build a directory structure where software
> configuration files are in /var/conf/<package>, thus:
> Et cetera. Within those directories would be all the configuration
> files; note this does NOT include log files, PID/lock files, and other
> runtime-generated data... ONLY the configuration. More than likely
> these directories would only be accessible to the super-user. If a
> particular program expects its configuration file in a certain place,
> there would simply be a symlink back to the /var/conf area.
> As an important side note, moving all configuration files to one place
> would allow the /usr (and possibly root) partition to be read-only,
> which is often considered a Good Thing. In fact, one could imagine a
> system where only /home and /var are writeable at all. Moreover,
> backing up the entire system's configuration would involve dumping a
> single directory-- making it trivial to replicate systems or take
> measures to avoid catastrophe.
> What do you guys think? Are there any "mainstream" Linux distros out
> there which utilize something like this? Am I breaking any religious
> rules by (apparently) defining my own filesystem structure? Is there a
> Better Way?
> Web Page: http://lug.boulder.co.us
> Mailing List: http://lists.lug.boulder.co.us/mailman/listinfo/lug
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Zan Lynx <zlynx at acm.org>
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