Subject: Re: /var/cron -> /etc/cron
To: David Maxwell <>
From: Gandhi woulda smacked you <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/07/1999 14:55:54
On Tue, 6 Apr 1999, David Maxwell wrote:

# Why was /etc/rc.conf created? Because it consolidates configuration
# into one place.

This is a straw man.  /etc/rc.conf consolidated stuff that was
in /etc to begin with; moving /var/cron to /etc does not address
even the same kind of issue.

# hier(7) says
# /var/    multi-purpose log, temporary, transient, and spool files
# Which doesn't fit semi-permanent user-configuration files.

If I understand that the trend is toward not having to back up /var,
then mailers will be required to offload mail from /var/mail.  Not
something I relish having to do.  my /var/mail/$user files are pretty

What about /var/crash?  I'm not entirely sure which of the above categories
it would match.

What about /var/pkg?  If that goes away, that's not exactly trivial
to replace.  I'd hardly consider it in any of the above categories.

.../var/named?  Unless you put your named configuration someplace else.
I moved it out of /etc because I didn't think it belonged there.


And crontabs are not semi-permanent.  They are there.  They exist.

Could we please leave /var/cron there?

WRT the read-only root thing, that's great for embedded systems, and
it is not all that far fetched for general use IFF you use YP/DNS to
handle everything *on that particular machine*.  Having a read-only
root on a YP/DNS server strikes me as problematic, but it could be done...

NIS, for the pundits, can handle just about anything.  So can DNS, if
you use the hesiod extensions and decide you want to translate mail
addresses and aliases into mailboxes and mailgroups.  I suspect that this
is why NIS was invented, however...

Alternately, maybe we should just make /etc its own filesystem if we're
going to just sit and kvetch over Yet Another Matter of Opinion; otherwise we
ought to just leave it as is.  I've watched it move from /etc/crontab
(root only) to /var/spool/crontabs to /var/cron/tabs to all sorts of other
places.  To move it back to /etc is folly, IMVHO.