Subject: Re: /var/db/pkg
To: Manuel Bouyer <>
From: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
List: current-users
Date: 05/25/2000 19:05:54
    Date:        Thu, 25 May 2000 10:23:12 +0200
    From:        Manuel Bouyer <>
    Message-ID:  <>

  | This assume you're running a stock release :)

yes, that's what I thought we were talking about...

  | There's at last one important thing in /: the kernel.

That can be one of the saved files, if you need it.   For me, just saving
the arch/xxx/conf/XXXX file is sufficient, I can always just build a
new kernel.

  | I also have
  | custom stuffs in /, and not all important files in / are in /var/backup
  | (or you have to copy the whole /etc).

Sure, you just add those to the list of saved files.  You customise,
you do a bit more customising...

  | Why ? I can restore from tape elsewhere and copy over NFS.

Speed is one reason.    Lots of things are possible, but doing an
install (esp from a fast CD) and copying a few files back into root
beats anything I've seen - esp as anything that reconstructs root
needs half the install done anyway (newfs, probably labelling, ...)

  | Then you know what you're doing. I use fetchmail/procmail, and all my mail
  | ends in $HOME.

For fetchmail it depends how you run it, so people prefer it to just
get the mail from the server, and dump it into the local MTA
(sendmail/postfix/ ...) which will then by default put it in /var/mail

For procmail, sure, generally mail goes in $HOME, but where do you think
procmail saves the mail when $HOME is full?

  | Depends on what you're using dhcpd for. Anyway it's not on all machines.

yes, exactly.  The point is that it would be a very poor idea for NetBSD
to start giving people the impression thatdumps of /var are a not needed.
There's too much that might be depending upon them.   And explicitly moving
stuff out so that dumps might not be needed for person X gives that impression.

  | Sure, in this case I don't matter much about the dhcpd lease file :)

I do - most of the systems that are dhcp clients are other places.
I can get a new box installed, put a dhcp server on it, and connect it
to the net (somewhere) in an hour if needed (well within dhcp lease timeouts).

  | If a server is reinstalled from backups I would't expect at jobs to be
  | restored.

I would.   Have you never run the perennial at job - the one that scheduelles
itself to be run again....   Lots of people grew up with that before there
were presonal crontabs, and are now used to it...

  | However I agree that crontabs should not be in /var as well

You're not agreeing with me, as I think they're fine there.

  | I don't find that /var/db/pkg fit in this sheme very well anyway.
  | It's not the same as the other stuffs in /var/db (Hum, there's libc.tags
  | here too, should be somewhere in /usr IMHO).

Somewhere?   Where.   In general, anything that the system creates, and
wants to keep, should be in /var.   /usr is for what comes off the
distribution is a better model (with /usr/pkg for packages, and /usr/local
for scribbling in...)

  | On most systems I don't care about what's in /var where I care about / or
  | /usr (and this is the case for most workstations or developement machines).

For me it is just the opposite, /var (with its copies of what is in /)
is the definition of the system, it and any user files that might happen to
exist are all that really matters, the rest is all distribution stuff.
I only rarely backup /usr - nothing there changes.  I "make package" when
I build from kgsrc, and save the packages, so they're easy to replace, aside
from that, and /usr/local (which is a mount point...) /usr is just what
came from the distribution, no changes at all.