Subject: Re: Package Paths Proposal v2
To: NetBSD Packages Technical Discussion List <>
From: Curt Sampson <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 12/16/1998 12:00:30
On Wed, 16 Dec 1998, Greg A. Woods wrote:

> Umm....  do you mean people using binary pkgs should be able to install
> them in a different location simply by changing the symlink?  If so,
> then I don't think that'll work for *all* packages.  It might work for
> some, but if there are paths compiled into those binaries then they'll
> also have to be visible through their compiled paths.

They will be. All packages will be compiled for either

    /pkg/etc, /pkg/var, /pkg/usr/..., etc. (my original proposal)


    /etc, /var, /usr/pkg/..., etc. (Todd's updated proposal)

And the symlink will redirect things appropriately. So if a package
were using share/foo/, it would look in /pkg/usr/share/foo/
or /usr/pkg/share/foo/bar/.data (depending on the proposal), and
find it.  The pkg directory may be a symlink instead, which causes
it to eventually end up at /usr/share/foo/, if the system
is set up to be integrated.

Does this make sense?

> So far as I can
> tell it's still not a given that all packages can be installed at a
> different prefix than they were compiled for.

They never would be. The prefix is fixed, and a symlink determines
where the files actually end up.

> ...then
> pkg_delete could do the right thing to restore the original system files

This is not the right thing!

If sendmail was replaced due to a buffer overflow that lets users
get root, I don't want the old sendmail reappearing, even for a
second, during my next upgrade.

I guess the long term correct thing here is to make sure that for
those applications which are upgraded with pacakges (sendmail,
BIND, etc.), the version distributed with the OS, or the newest
unbuggy minor version of it, is available as a package. So if, in
1.4, I remove BIND 8 and install BIND 4, I can later go back to
BIND 8 again with the BIND 8 package. If in the meantime a security
hole or whatever as been discovered, the BIND 8 package I download
will not be the same version I originally had, but the fixed one.

Curt Sampson  <>   604 801 5335   De gustibus, aut bene aut nihil.
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