Subject: Re: The new rc.d stuff...
To: None <>
From: Jay Maynard <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/16/2000 09:51:24
On Sun, Apr 16, 2000 at 06:35:20AM -0700, John Nemeth wrote:
> The point of this, is that when I talk
> about what works (for me), it's not on a whim, it's based on a lot of
> real world experience in a variety of settings doing a variety of jobs
> with a variety of OS'es.

Me too. My list is the same as yours, except that I don't have SunOS 4.1.3
and do have AIX 3.2, IRIX 5.3, 6.2, and 6.5, and OSF/1^H^H^H^H^HDigital
Unix^A^A^T^TTru64 Unix 1.3, 3.2, and 4.0.

>      Given my experience, I would order the above systems for ease of
> administration, from easiest to hardest as follows:  NetBSD, SunOS
> 4.1.3, SunOS 5.5, HP-UX 10.20, SCO UNIX, and lastly RedHat Linux.

I think this is a matter of what you learned first. I learned SysV first,
and so am used to how it goes about doing things; a quick grep finds the
exact file I need to modify, no matter which system I'm sitting down in
front of this time. (Ironically enough, the quick grep method needs a
modification on Solaris - only - because of two named pipes they stuck in
/etc. Argh!) BSD systems still drive me occasionally nuts.

> The SysV based systems come next because they spread out
> configuration all over the place, meaning I have to go hunt for what I
> need to change, but are otherwise relatively easy to maintain.

If you're not finding what you need to change in a matter of seconds, you're
not searching well. Use the available tools. At some point, if you maintain
that many systems, you WILL get confused about what goes where, even the BSD
ones, and so you'll have to search anyway.

> It also has extremely poor documentation.  There may be a gazillion
> "How-To"'s, but the manpages suck.  I need basic reference material,
> not a gazillion out-of-date tutorials that I need to wade through to
> find one simple little detail.

A pox on the FSF for thinking they're above manpages.

>      This is where contractors come into play.  And, the easier it is
> to maintain a system, the less its administration will cost you (of
> course, the reliability of the system also plays a factor here).

Exactly - and the ease of maintainability and reliability of the system
aren't always the same, especially in the face of admin screwups - which
WILL happen, unless you're claiming to be perfect.

>      How often do you make changes to system startup?  I rarely "fiddle
> that file" after initial system configuration.

That argument cuts both ways: if you don't change the configuration often,
what's the problem in costing an extra grep if you can't remember where the
setting is?

>      I'm not sure I like this idea.  Not only does it spread
> configuration information all over the place, but it puts the same
> configuration information in multiple places.

This one I will agree with.

> (mind you, inexperienced system administrators can produce all
> sorts of "interesting" situations).

Amen to that. Now, which would you rather have: a system that's most of the
way up, or a system that's down so hard you have to boot from something else
to get it up far enough to fix the problem, with users and managers
screaming in your ear that they need it fixed NOW! ?