Subject: Re: /var/db/pkg
To: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
From: Manuel Bouyer <>
List: current-users
Date: 05/23/2000 18:01:37
On Tue, May 23, 2000 at 07:42:21PM +1000, Robert Elz wrote:
>   | To have a backup of the system I need /var as well,
> Absolutely, it is vital - perhaps next only to user files.  Given a /var/backup
> in which all the files on / that routinely change can be copied (master.passwd
> etc) it is certainly more important than backing up /

I disagree. /etc is where up-to-date files are stored, this is what's

>   | I think /var should
>   | only contain log files or files that can be regenerated from the system.
> Like /var/mail /var/spool/mqueue /var/db/dhcpd.leases ...

/var/mail is only on mail servers, and are generally a separate system.
If you're backuping once a day, /var/spool/mqueue and /var/db/dhcpd.leases
will be out of date anyway and are not that usefull.
On a system where /var matters I'd rather go with a raid filesystem than

> Really!  Sure, on any particular system, there may end up being nothing
> in /var that matters (and changes).  Just as there might not be in / or
> /home or ...  But attempting to move the one thing in there that prevents
> that for you out of the standard system is not a rational process.  If you
> want /var/db/pkg to be in /usr/pkg by all means symlink it to there, that isn't
> difficult to do.   Personally, that's the last thing I want, I prefer to be
> able to keep /usr/pkg shareable, but have /var/db/pkg only on the one system
> that gets to install/delete/upgrade the packages (the one with the drive
> usually).  The others don't need it (and that pkg_info doesn't work on those
> systems doesn't bother me in the least).
> If there is to be a discussion on where /var/db/pkg really belongs, please
> let's keep it to well thought out principles, of generic appeal, rather
> than "it would be nicer for me if...".   The ability to copy the whole
> thing in one tar command might be one (though tar cf - usr/pkg var/db/pkg
> is a fair counter proposal to that...)

Conforming to hier is also important I think:
/var/      multi-purpose log, temporary, transient, and spool files

/var/db/pkg doens't fit in this category.

Manuel Bouyer, LIP6, Universite Paris VI.