Subject: Re: /usr/pkg/etc vs. /etc
To: NetBSD Packages Technical Discussion List <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 12/11/1998 12:50:42
[ On Fri, December 11, 1998 at 10:47:21 (+0100), Manuel Bouyer wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: /usr/pkg/etc vs. /etc
> On Dec 10, Greg A. Woods wrote
> > (When a >4GB disk costs <=$400[cdn], even as SCSI, there should be
> > little, or no, need to share installed images across multiple
> > non-diskless hosts -- just share /usr/pkgsrc/packages and do the
> > installs on each machine!)
> That's not a good argument. Having to install a package on every machine is
> a pain.

What do you mean????  Surely you didn't expect I'd manually run the
installs on each machine, did you?  That's what scripts and remote
execution are for!

Either you use rdist/NFS/whatever to distribute the result of a single
install, or you use rsh/ssh/whatever to invoke a script that does the
installs on each machine.  The result is mostly the same, but the latter
mechanism allows the machine's owner to diverge if necessary or desired
(and allowed), and I consider this last attribute to be critical.  If
you want to do that your way then you have to copy the /var/db/pkg stuff
to each machine too (and arrange for it to be on private filesystems in
the case where sharing is done by NFS/AFS/Samba/etc.).  I think it's
more elegant to do the installs, and if you ever get caught by a package
that does something host-specific upon install, such as SSH in
generating its host key pair, then my suggestion automatically gives you
that feature for free and any file copy/share scheme forces you do do
local hacks for each such package.  I.e. why use the package system in
the first place if you want to avoid doing the "install" step on each

As for whether or not you consider the disk space taken by having local
binary copies to be "expensive", well, if you think it is then you'll
likely use NFS or similar anyway, so your decision is made for you.  The
space taken by /var/db/pkg on private filesystems for diskless hosts is
rather trivial (at least compared to having a private /usr/pkg).

My point is that if you're going to have local copies anyway, then make
them truely private copies (i.e. unique installs per host) so that the
package profile of hosts can be diverged if necessary and permitted to
do so, and so that install operations unique to a host are supported.

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
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