Subject: Re: /etc/rc.conf and upgrading
To: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
From: Simon Burge <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 10/13/1999 10:11:06
Robert Elz wrote:

> If any of this is going to make rc.conf.local mandatory, then I don't
> really think it is a good idea.

Under this scheme rc.conf.local wouldn't be mandatory, in the sense that
at long as the variables are set in either rc.conf or rc.conf.local
we'll be happy.

> I would also have rc.conf check for rc.conf.local and source it if
> it exists, rather than doing it in /etc/rc - that way everything that
> reads rc.conf will get the local additions.

Reasonable...  A few people suggested that as well.

> I would also tend to attempt to avoid the "config file turns into a
> distribution file" syndrome - that's where a file (or directory) that
> was created for users to set up their configuration, then gets distributed
> with a sample configuration, and then people want to avoid touching
> as otherwise the next system update with an updated sample will blow away
> the local changes.  Then the once configuration file becomes an untouchable
> data file, and a new file is needed for configurations, and the whole
> thing repeats...

This thread started when I suggested having an /etc/rc.defaults (someone
suggested /etc/rc.conf.defaults), and then /etc/rc.conf would be just
what the user wanted to override.  This avoids the "the file changed its
purpose in life" problem.

> A better procedure is to simply come up with an update procedure that allows
> the user updated file to be updated when the system is upgraded.  For rc.conf
> that might be as simple as adding a few lines of comments between each line
> that users are likely to edit, then applying judicous use of patch to make
> updates (the comment lines serving as invariant delimiters for patch to match
> against).

The lack of simple update procedure is what's driving this.  Having
an update procedure that can be used automatically without user
intervention (hmm, a tautology) doesn't appear to be that easy...
Predicting which bits users are likely to edit will be fun - users
will be users and do the exact opposite of what we expect!

Maybe we need /etc/rc.d :-)  (ducks)