Subject: Re: Package Paths Proposal v2
To: NetBSD Packages Technical Discussion List <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 01/03/1999 18:23:52
[ On Sun, January 3, 1999 at 13:40:21 (-0800), Curt Sampson wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Package Paths Proposal v2
> On Sun, 3 Jan 1999, Greg A. Woods wrote:
> > [blah blah blah] -- except on a development system...
> Note that, AFICT, NetBSD explicitly supports development systems,
> and makes working on development systems as easy and safe as possible
> while not compromising the performance and utility of production
> systems.

 1. Only a *VERY* tiny portion of even NetBSD machines are "development"
systems in that sense.  I'd also bet that the vast majority of NetBSD
development machines are now single-user systems too, and certainly not
"general purpose multi-user computing" servers while at the same time
being development systems -- hardware is inexpensive enough these days
that it's no longer necessary to combine purposes.

 2. 99.9% of *developers* will have to have at least 80-100MB of spare
space, probably even on another spindle, and will be extremely capable
of configuring and using it as a full alternate system partition.  In
fact I'd highly recommend that -current developers set DESTDIR=/altroot
and do their tests by booting off the new system without disturbing the
old one.  Paranoid developers can find yet another 80-100MB and put a
known stable system on it (eg. /saferoot).  This will make them more
productive and keep them from pulling their hair out when they
inevitably screw something up beyond repair.  Whether or not / and /usr
are split (either on separate filesystems or not) or merged is
irrelevant to this point, though at minimum keeping everything on one
filesystem is easiest to manage and prone to the least errors (and
that's from hard-earned experience, not just theory).

I.e. There's no real conflict between the issue of / and /usr
vs. "development" systems -- it's all in your imagination!  ;-)

I only mentioned it because especially on busier and critical servers
filesystem stability is sometimes an important requirement.  Now that
it's no longer necessary to merge the uses of a very very expensive and
slow machine with relatively small disks (such as a big VAX 11/780 that
has to support student and/or faculty as well as OS development), this
point is really only historical.

Even developers doing filesystem research no longer have to risk the
base OS files on their primary development server to experimental

> Given this, it makes perfect sense to keep the / and /usr split.
> Can we put an ed to this now, given that there appears to be only
> one person in the NetBSD community who feels strongly about combining
> these?

Are you sure you're reading my messages in their entirety?  What part am
I not making clear?

							Greg A. Woods

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