Subject: Re: /usr/pkg/etc vs. /etc
To: Curt Sampson <>
From: Computo Ergo Checksum <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 12/10/1998 18:00:54
Curt Sampson sez:
 * On Thu, 10 Dec 1998, proprietor - Foo Bar And Grill wrote:
 * > Have we (please excuse the royal "we") considered a central point for
 * > configuration files, i.e. ${dir}/conf/${program}/* for each
 * > program?  It would certainly centralize a lot of things.
 * I don't get your meaning here. We already do have a central point
 * for configuration files: /etc. :-) What would $dir be? And are you
 * talking about just packages, or everything?

Actually, it does seem you've caught my meaning quite well, if you're
implying that configuration files should NOT be shared between machines,
a point with which, for better or for worse, I happen to agree.

 * I do approve of the idea of making subdirectories in /etc for
 * programs that have more than one configuration file (/etc/uucp is
 * a good example).

We're definitely on the same wavelength here....

 * One of the reasons I like to centralise all configuration information

[sensible reasons given]

 * To summarise, I think we should keep the configuration files in
 * one place (and that place being a `local' place for each computer)


 * > ...everything else goes to /pkg or, more appropriately, /usr/local.
 * > [The pkg database keeps track of what's where; why not put it in /usr/local?
 * I feel that keeping /usr/local untouched by the standard OS tools
 * is a Good Thing.

Yes, I think that's what I tried to say when I said that the OS stuff gets
installed relative to / or to /mnt, depending.

 * That's the sysadmin's area, and he should be able
 * to have confidence that if he puts anything there, it's going to
 * stay there unchanged, and that if he deletes anyuthing there it's
 * not going to affect a program not installed under /usr/local.


 * >  We've got /, /usr/local and /usr/X11(R6) -- that's three hierarchies,
 * >  not counting src.  Isn't that enough?]
 * Yeah, I think so personally. On the other hand, if you're one of
 * the people creating pkgsrc stuff, it's really, really handy to be
 * able to blow away /usr/pkg or whatever, and know that it's all
 * cleared out.

Yeah, but that's _creating_ as a developer, not _installing_ as an
end-"user", and development has repeatedly proven to require its
own hierarchy.

 * (Working on a PLIST otherwise tends to leave unused
 * files scattered all over your filesystems. Yecch.)

Yecch squared.


I hope I'm making some sense here; your reply of confidence.

# " raise a signal means to turn the light on; ... Responding to a
#  signal means turning the light off (and, under System V, hoping the bulb
#  won't blow when it's next turned on)..." -- Dan Bernstein