Subject: Re: Packages (Re: xntpd)
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Luke Mewburn <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/06/1996 18:26:14
Simon J. Gerraty writes:
> It would be nice to have one true package setup etc.
> Actually it would be nice to have one true system setup.
> This is a big win, when administering many hosts at many sites -
> ideally everything except the core OS should look the same.

> However some machines will be NFS servers some will be clients.

> Some packages need to be replicated on all machines so that network
> problems do not interfere with automagic admin processing.

> Finally, some packages need to be available in single user mode.

> I'm not sure that a single /usr/local/* can neatly accommodate all the
> above. 

The solution that we decided upon is something like this:
	/share/arch/ultrix.mips/share -> /share
	/share/arch/ultrix.mips/etc -> share/etc
	/share/arch/ultrix.mips/man -> share/man
And you only need two NFS mounts on any client;
	master:/export/share on /share, and
	master:/export/share/arch/ultrix.mips on /usr/local.
We also support sunos.sun4 (Solaris2), netbsd.{i386,pmax,sun3}, etc, etc.

On the master server for /share you have symlinks like:
	/share -> export/share	(and /export/share to the real location)
	/usr/local -> ../../share/arch/ultrix.mips

This appears like a lot of stuffing around, but it easily allows us to
easily add arch dependant stuff in /share/arch/xxx/whatever and
independant stuff into /share/whatever. If you want independant stuff
under /usr/local instead of /usr/local/share, just put symlinks under
each of the arch-dependant dirs.

Why did we do it this way? Because it made it easy to handle multiple
architectures *without* resulting to NFS mounts on the master server
to get /share and /usr/local, and just mounting arch-dependant
/usr/local/{lib,bin,X} was difficult if you wanted to add extra
arch-dep. dirs. (Solaris supports reasonable LOFS mounts, but when we
set our Ultrix servers up like that with loopback NFS mounts they'd
wedge at shutdown because NFS was killed before the umount would

It also makes software updates easy - just release a tar file with
/share to extract on any machine to update all architectures and
independant stuff in one hit.

Anyway, I can give further details to those interested, but I thought
I'd chuck that it the pot...

Luke Mewburn <>

    Don't steal. The Government (and the Banks) hate competition.  - (anon)