Subject: Re: /usr/src/etc/Makefile
To: None <>
From: Michael Bryan <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/29/1994 10:19:25
> True, this is a problem.  Especially since most "normal" O/S's don't replace
> these types of files except when there's a totally new release.  (Welcome to
> the world of frequently updating source code Operating Systems, Greg (-: )
> Is there "accepted common practice", then?  i.e., "After your `make universe'
> is done, go rummage through /etc and <insert others here> and if you find
> anything newer, diff it against what you've got and merge in the new
> changes"?

The way HP-UX does it is to compare the various configuration files
against known previous versions.  If the file is a "known" version,
then it has not been modified by the site, and is replaced
automatically during the upgrade.  If it isn't a known version, it is
assumed that the user has some custom modifications, and the file is
left as it is.  A message is also logged in the upgrade log file
(/tmp/update.log), indicating that the file should be updated
manually.  In either case, the new versions of all these files are
placed into the directory /etc/newconfig, so that the sysadmin can
peruse the new files at some point, and apply the upgrades manually.
This happens for the expected files in /etc, as well as many other
config files, such as /usr/lib/uucp/Systems, various X11 startup
files, etc.

Keeping track of all "known" versions in the daily changes is probably
too much work, but it would be good to do this in an upgrade from 0.9
to 1.0, when that happens.  And putting all of the "not automatically
copied" files into a location like /etc/newconfig would be a good
idea, even under NetBSD-current.  Granted, it's not much more
difficult to look in /usr/src/etc, but one benefit with "newconfig"
would be that you'd know exactly which files were the crucial ones.

____     Children of a future age      ____
\  /    Reading this indignant page    \  /
 \/     Know that in a former time      \/          Michael Bryan
   Love, sweet love, was thought a crime