Subject: Re: /etc/rc.conf vs. modular subsystem control scripts
To: NetBSD Userlevel Technical Discussion List <>
From: John Nemeth <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 03/19/1999 05:26:10
On Mar 19,  2:40am, Greg A. Woods wrote:
} [ On Thursday, March 18, 1999 at 23:05:04 (-0800), John Nemeth wrote: ]
} >
} >      diff and patch work wonders here.  As I've said I've had to
} > change the files in /etc/init.d many times.  This means that at
} > upgrade time I lose.
} RCS, or diff&patch, or some other version control tool, can work wonders
} anywhere scripts and line-oriented configuration files are concerned,
} and that includes the scripts like those in /etc/init.d.

     Granted, but it's still very annoying to have to deal with a
large number of files.

} >  Not to mention the upgrade restoring symbolic
} > links in /etc/rc?.d that I've renamed/deleted.  
} You're not supposed to use symlinks in /etc/rc?.d -- just hard links to
} the actual scripts in ../init.d (which are possible to track in both
} directions, unlike symlinks).

     I've seen vendors use both, but that's beside the point.
Consider this hypothetical scenario:  I have a SysV system that I
don't want to act as an NFS server so I rename/delete the appropriate
link, and then the upgrade program comes along and re-installs the
link.  That would be bad.  With NetBSD, I explicitly say that I don't
want the machine to be an NFS server instead of the program having to
make a guess.  It would be very easy for the upgrade program to read
/etc/rc.conf, figure this out, and do the right thing.

} Hopefully someone doesn't pipe up and suggest a M$-style .INI format for
} the control table!  ;-)

     I heartily agree with you on this!  :-)  Of course, much worse
would be an M$-style registry, which is basically just a binary
version of .INI files.  Oops, that's already been done (AIX).

} > } Result: if you upgrade, you have to re-do all the local configuration
} > } in /etc/rc.conf from scratch.
} > 
} >      I'm not sure this is true, but even if it is, so what?  It's a
} > lot easier to deal with one file, then it is to deal with 20+.
} Not necessarily.  It depends on what tools you use and how many hacks
} you had to make and in this case how many hacks you were able to
} generalize into a form that you could feed to the OS maintainers so that
} they were already present in the new version.

     I still think it's easier to deal with one file, then 20+.

}-- End of excerpt from Greg A. Woods