Subject: Re: /var/cron -> /etc/cron
To: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
From: Thor Lancelot Simon <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/04/1999 21:56:31
On Sat, Apr 03, 1999 at 08:29:13AM +1000, Robert Elz wrote:
>     Date:        Fri, 2 Apr 1999 16:18:29 -0500 (EST)
>     From:        Curt Sampson <>
>     Message-ID:  <>
>   | Now the main objection that seems to have been brought up here is
>   | that some people want to share /etc among multiple machines.
> Where did this red herring come from?   I saw nothing at all about sharing
> /etc, which would be a pretty dumb thing to want to do.   Being able to argue
> against that is no great feat.
> What has been argued for is a read only /etc (read only root), which is
> a totally different thing.   It isn't being read only so it can be shared,
> but so the disc drive is much less likely to go writing on the thing, and
> consequently, damage the root filesys on a bad power loss or similar (or
> just through random filesystem inconsistencies).
> The less times the root filesys needs to be written the better.
> We aren't going to get to a read only state for root any time soon, but

We are *already* at a read-only state for root; the syslog socket move
was the last of the changes to go into the NetBSD tree which I had had
to maintain in my private tree for the embedded systems I sell to my
consulting clients, which run with read-only root at securelevel 2.

FWIW, I don't consider that the cron move has made much difference; I
already had to extract /var from a tar file in /etc onto an MFS, so anyone
using cron would have to re-gen that tar file and thus the system image
(my systems run from easily writable flash disks) to produce a persistent

> we could at least not keep adding more stuff that is continually being
> written - and most particularly stuff that non-root users can write.

That, I agree with.  /var is for stuff that's being written all the
time, often by non-root users.  I mean, WTF else is it *there* for?