[lug] System configuration files

Neil Doane caine at antediluvian.org
Wed Jul 30 17:18:34 MDT 2003

wrt /opt.  One rationale I've heard from those who continue to use it on
Linux boxen is that they like to have a separate partition for /opt where 
they can mount it nosuid and then stick 'binaries of questionable security' 
on it. 


* Paul E Condon (pecondon at peakpeak.com), on [07-29-03 22:12], wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 29, 2003 at 04:24:52PM -0600, Jeff Schroeder wrote:
> > Paul wrote:
> > 
> > > Debian has a policy on how files on disk should be organized. There
> > > is a document that describes the policy and offers a lot of reasoning
> > > as to why various ways of doing things are good or bad. Nothing
> > > religious; very well reasoned.
> > 
> > Thanks for the link.  This is the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard I 
> > mentioned in my original post, so I don't think it's Debian-specific-- 
> > they just include a copy on their web site.
> > 
> > I agree that it's well-reasoned, even including provisions for "legacy" 
> > software like X11 that breaks some of the rules.  Because so many other 
> > packages depend on X being in a certain place, the FHS "allows" it.
> > 
> > However, it still isn't clear (to me, anyway) whether the FHS would 
> > prefer /etc or /var for this sort of thing...
> > 
> For that I refer to the Debian installation on one of my computers.
> The Debian maintainers actually use /etc for config stuff. I think
> they really expect config stuff to be in /etc. 
> The earliest reference to /etc in my library is Kernigan & Pike,
> 1984. In that book /etc is for system miscellany and there is no
> mention of /var or /opt.  These must be much later additions. I think
> they were invented because data in /etc was expected to be rather
> stable. i.e. Once the sysadmin has the configuration data set up to
> everyones liking, it should not be changed.
> While you are creating a new distribution, it might seem that config
> data is always changing, and thus should be in /var. But tuning config
> is usually not the primary activity of a functioning data center.
> -- 
> Paul E Condon           
> pecondon at peakpeak.com    
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