Subject: Re: /etc/default
To: Captech) < (James Graham>
From: Theo de Raadt <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/27/1995 04:44:24
> * nsswitch.conf
> 	This is rather interesting.  I think they tried to do something right
> 	here, but they threw in the "compat" keyword which is only valid with
> 	two databases:  passwd and group.  If we were to do something like
> 	this, the obvious thing which would occur to me is that NIS stuff
> 	should be drawn in iff it hits a '+' in the file and possibly '@'
> 	for hesiod stuff (i.e. "compat" mode should be the default).
> 	On the other hand, it is kind of nice to be able to specify the order
> 	in which you want your databases read.  For lookups to default to NIS
> 	for all other maps (Sun ignores many local files completely if NIS is
> 	running) is absurd.  This is, of course, easily overcome by the rules
> 	above.  I think Theo brought this up.  It's a good point.
> 	As I don't have a running system yet (I intend to cure this real
> 	soon now), I can't check the specifics, so I don't know the order
> 	in which host resolution is done (i.e. is it files/DNS/NIS or
> 	files/NIS/DNS or is NIS ignored altogether? etc.).

let's look at a few files:

bootparams	supports +
networks	should be deprecated, to use standard hosts lookups
hosts		has a flag to indicate checking sequence
group		must support + in sequence for proper ordering
passwd		must support + in sequence for proper ordering
ethers		supports +
protocols	could support +
rpc		should support +
services	could support +

any other files? i don't see anything else which seriously requires a
global special file to be added. all the support functions (for the
above files) can simply be written to handle a + if they see it.  then
you can

	put just regular data in the file
	put data followed by a +
	put a + followed by data
	put just a +
or heavens yes, put a + in the middle of the data if you wanted.

and if you wanted to support hesiod for these things too, you could
very easily use the @ hack that i've yammered about for a few years.

in my mind it is stupid to try to centralize the control of data files
when the control can be interspersed with the data.