Subject: Re: /usr/pkg/etc vs. /etc
To: NetBSD Packages Technical Discussion List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Manuel Bouyer <email@example.com>
Date: 12/15/1998 15:11:08
On Dec 11, Greg A. Woods wrote
> 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.
And what if a machine is down at this time ? You need to re-run the install on
this machine only. rdist avoid this.
> 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
Why ? I don't copy /var/db/pkg, and all my machine run fine. Sure I can't
use the pkg_* commands on the rdisted machines, but what's the problem ?
> (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 would have to do this anyway, because I use rdist for machine-specific
config files too. This way I have all the config of my student room
centralised on one machine (easier to backup), and I'm sure that a machine
which is down at the date of a change will get updated at the next rdist.
This also saves me a lot of time when I reintall a machine after a hardware
> I.e. why use the package system in
> the first place if you want to avoid doing the "install" step on each
To have precompiled binaries, or get sources that have already been tested
and are known to compile.
But I want all my machines to be identical. For this king of setup, rdist is
much better suited than any command distribution tool.
> 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.
That's a different setup than mine. I'll never never need a tool on a client
that I will not need on my server. I have tools installed on my server that
are not on my clients. These tools are installed with a different $PREFIX,
and rdist can handle that just fine.
Also, did you consider tools that are not in the package system ?
Manuel Bouyer, LIP6, Universite Paris VI. Manuel.Bouyer@lip6.fr