[lug] System configuration files

rm at fabula.de rm at fabula.de
Tue Jul 29 17:05:24 MDT 2003

On Tue, Jul 29, 2003 at 04:22:34PM -0600, Jeff Schroeder wrote:
> Ralf wrote:
> > But, yes, /etc is the most logical place. And more and more
> > packages follow the ->
> >
> > > I like programs that use /etc/<package> for their files.
> >
> > approach. This is probably due to the fact that what once was
> > /etc/bloink.cfg is now a pile of files.
> That's a good point.  One of the reasons I was avoiding /etc was because 
> it's already so cluttered.  But maybe doing something like
> /etc/conf/apache
> /etc/conf/mysql
> /etc/conf/wu-ftpd

But where's the difference to:


> would keep down the clutter by moving everything out of the "main" /etc 
> area.

"Down" isn't neccessarily cleaner ;-)
As an (occasional) admin i like to have short paths to my conf files
(i often have to switch back and forth between data/log and configuration
directories). That extra 'conf' just gets in the way.

> Come to think of it, there's already (on many systems) an /etc/sysconfig 
> area... perhaps package configurations could go in there?

Isn't that very RedHat?

One design principle that wasn't mentioned so far: keep things where
a decent admin would _expect_ them to be (i think Debian calls this
the principle of least astonishment).

I guess many see the problems of unbound confiuration file growth
(backup being an especially big one). The /etc/sysconfig and similar
aproaches try to "cluster" related information (you seem to want 
to cluster by package which seems logical for some use cases [bind,
postgres etc.] but limiting for others. Wouldn't you want to have all
network stuff in /etc/network rather than in /etc/ipsec, /etc/ip, 
/etc/gated etc.?). Some Unices (AIX i.e.) even use a binary database
(the [in]famous ODM, registry done right) with all its benefits
and problems.

BTW, why do you want to create yet another distro? Eternal fame?

  hth RalfD

> Thanks for the help,
> Jeff
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