Subject: Re: A policy for /var
To: Rene Hexel <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 07/27/2002 12:11:53
[ On , July 27, 2002 at 17:30:09 (+1000), Rene Hexel wrote: ]
> Subject: A policy for /var
>   What I'm getting at is that as long as packages don't install PLISTed
> files there, the use of /var is okay with me.  Other people seem to have
> a different opinion here and that's (part of) the reason why we keep
> seeing PRs such as this.

I certainly agree with you.  Indeed for me having one "/var" is pretty
much mandatory these days (though it might have several filesystems for
its subdirectories, eg. /var/log and maybe /var/mail, /var/spool, etc.).

>   The solution is to establish some sort of policy here.  We can either
> decide that the use of /var is fine, or we could decide that something
> like ${PREFIX}/var should be used instead.  If we can't agree on a
> unified solution, what about a PKG_VARDIR similar to PKG_SYSCONFDIR?

Once upon a time I would create a /var-like partition for the exlusive
use of locally installed software, but that only meant I had to look in
two places for things instead of one place Having two generic /var-like
partions also means having to manage two very dynamic filesystems
instead of one, with no proper space-related policy about what uses each
filesystem and instead having to perhaps even further divide each into
separate filesystems for space-based reasons.

So, I would say that about the only time it would make sense to support
a user-definable PKG_VARDIR would be 

I would also warn that supporting PKG_VARDIR would significantly
increase the level of maintenance required for many non-Autoconf'ed
packages which may have their policies hard-coded within their sources.

This whole idea of being insanely single-minded about keeping add-on
files in separate hierarchies from "system" supplied files is, at best,
increasingly unnecessary.

								Greg A. Woods

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