Subject: Re: /var/db/pkg
To: None <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: current-users
Date: 05/25/2000 20:05:52
I've been silent on this for a while, but since this thread seems to keep
going, I thought that I'd post my opinions:

First, I prefer keeping it under /var, since it makes more ``global''
sense to me.  The /var/db/pkg data are data _about_ /usr/pkg; they contain
nothing of interest to people who want to use stuff in /usr/pkg.  The
files are only of interest to the small set of system admin pkg tools.

That's not to say that I fail to see any value to putting pkg stuff all in
one place.  But, FOR ME, there is no practical value to putting them
together and the current seperation fits with (indeed, has helped me form)
my notion of what /var is for.  I view /var as similar-in-nature to shell
variables, providing state information between processes over time---with
/var being persistent across reboots (and sharable between unrelated

Second, Alistair G. Crooks cited an environment variable, PKG_DBDIR, that
apparently already exists and people can use.  Is there a reason why those
wishing to move /var/db/pkg don't just set PKG_DBDIR and let everyone be

(Even if the PKG_DBDIR variable didn't exist, it seems that there are
workarounds, using symbolic links, to let the people get the current
system to behave as-expected.)

Third, it seems that there is a firm divide on the issue.  If it weren't
already in place, it could be settled with a coin toss, with the losing
camp setting a variable to non-default status.  However, it IS already in
place.  In addition to upsetting the people who prefer /var/db/pkg where
it is, moving it would cause stress to _everyone_ who deals with the
directory & who have no strong feelings about its location.  A few will go
up, a few will go down, and everyone experiences turbulence.  Is this

Although I don't have the authority to tell people to let it go and move
on, I believe that that's the best policy, here.

Okay, that's my piece.  How do I get down from this soapbox?

  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."