Subject: Re: sysctl(2) and/or /kern for system variable manipulation
To: Andy Sporner <>
From: Todd Whitesel <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 03/24/2000 05:22:49
> I had to start writing parsers to make sense of the data
> in a way useful to the programs that I was writting at
> the time.  Then the format changed of some of the things
> (IIRC -- /proc/net/route) and I had to redo most of it.

I believe this is because the Linux /proc goodies are mostly
cute hacks to turn netstat, etc., into kernel modules.

Having dealt with programs that parse the output of GDB, and
Hewlett-Packard emulators, I declare it categorically insane
to base a long-term interface on something that prints human
readable messages which are then parsed by programs.

I am in favor of beefing up /kern, but it must be done in a
machine-readable way; the current output of sysctl -a, or
mixerctl/audioctl, is not too bad, actually. (See also environ(7).)

Todd Whitesel
toddpw @