Subject: Re: Support for ACLs
To: Lord Isildur <>
From: Jason R Thorpe <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 03/08/2001 11:05:13
On Thu, Mar 08, 2001 at 01:45:52PM -0500, Lord Isildur wrote:

 > yes, it's a feature that i personally think superfluous. However, if it's 
 > going in, then i had my comments about how it should..

A lot of people thing that graphics display support is superfluous, but
the fact remains that it is a completely necessary feature for some (well,
the vast majority, at this point, I think :-) of users.

File system ACLs are very useful in some environments; I used to work for
a distributed supercomputing research center, and I can say with some
authority that ACLs were pretty much necessary to keep our sanity with
some of our systems, even if we had to do it with DCE (which causes you
to lose your sanity for other reasons, but that's orthogonal to ACLs :-).

If done right, ACLs can be glorious.  Consider being able to give
access (on a permanent or temporary basis) with strong authentication
of the users doing the access without having to create local accounts
for those users (this is something you could do pretty easily with
an ACL system that used Kerberos).

 > *grin* i have to agree here. it's all a matter of opinion. some of us want,
 > as der mouse put it, to keep netbsd as BSD. 

Y'know, BSD isn't the ultimate operating system.  Other operating systems
have some really good ideas implemented in them, and other operating systems
do some things a lot better than BSD.

NetBSD is certainly rooted in BSD, and since BSD is the basis of NetBSD,
BSD is in the name.  However, that doesn't mean that we should cling 100%
to "the BSD way".  Note, the last BSD release, 4.4BSD (if you are counting
complete releases) happened nearly a decade ago, and if we hadn't changed
the way some things were done, we would not have been ported to so many
platforms, for example (nor would we have things like IPv6 or IPsec),
nor would be able to have multiprocessor support.

Hey, even 4.4BSD broke with "the BSD way" -- it got a brand-new virtual
memory system from Mach, an operating system with a completely different
architecture than BSD.  Should it have kept BSD VM instead?  I think that
pretty much everyone agrees that the step to Mach VM was a good one (even
if it did have some room for improvement, which NetBSD has since done,
we now have UVM, which borrowed some concepts from, *gasp*, Solaris,
and UBC which borrows some concepts from, *gasp*, Digital UNIX).

4.3BSD and 4.4BSD are old technology at this point, and in order to
survive, we (NetBSD) must evolve, as we have done and will continue
to do.  As people demand more power and flexibility from their computer
systems, we, as the provider of system software, must adapt to those
demands.  That's not to say that we are going to throw away all vestiges
of BSD (quite the contrary -- we're all here because we *like* the way
BSD did things!), but sometimes, in order to improve, you have to change
the way things are done.  That is not a bad thing.

        -- Jason R. Thorpe <>