Subject: Re: Looking ahead
To: Allen Briggs <>
From: Steven M. Bellovin <>
List: tech-embed
Date: 06/05/2007 15:44:19
On Tue, 5 Jun 2007 11:10:39 -0400
Allen Briggs <> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 05, 2007 at 10:51:26AM -0400, Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
> > I'm not sure what you mean by "build to image", but for me,
> > finishing syspkg would help a lot on the regular system as well as
> > for embedded systems.
> "build to image" is kind of shift in how one thinks about managing
> a NetBSD system.  In the traditional *nix system management, you're
> managing a system with a lot of pieces, a set of applications,
> services, and configuration files.  With "build to image" (I want
> a better name for it), you're managing two things: a binary blob
> containing the applications and services and some kind of
> configuration blob (which needs to be worked out).  So the
> configuration stays on the system separate from the "binary blob"
> which is hopefully read-only and upgraded en masse.  In "build to
> image", you build the "binary blob" part with whatever options you
> want/need, and maybe a default configuration in case there's no (or a
> corrupted) configuration on the system.

I'd like that for all systems, not just embedded ones...
> I expect that model is not one that fits all embedded systems, but
> that's what I want to find out.
I like the approach; I don't think that it's an alternative to syspkg.
Suppose I'm using NetBSD for a PDA.  Depending on the design and model,
I may want Bluetooth.  A syspkg should select all of the necessary
programs and configuration files (and kernel modules?).  The separation
of the (host-specific?) Bluetooth configuration files from the
Bluetooth programs is orthogonal.  I think we need both.

		--Steve Bellovin,