Subject: Re: Possible rc.conf / default/rc.conf enhancements...
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 09/24/2000 20:15:28
[ On Sunday, September 24, 2000 at 18:04:53 (+0200), Jaromír Dolecek wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Possible rc.conf / default/rc.conf enhancements...
> I think that /etc/rc.conf should not source /etc/default[s]/rc.conf.
> I think it would be usable to have /etc/defaults/rc.conf, but
> /etc/rc.conf should be the main configuration file. /etc/defaults/rc.conf
> should only be used when upgrading, to see what changed in
> default config since last /etc/ upgrade.
> So, both /etc/rc.conf and /etc/defaults/rc.conf should exist. Installer
> should copy /etc/defaults/rc.conf to /etc/rc.conf is /etc/rc.conf
> doesn't exist already.

That wouldn't really solve any problems, at least not without always
ensuring that after an upgrade both the new and the old /etc/defaults
files are kept so that a three-way diff can be done, and of course it
still requires a manual merge be done.

This of course could be claimed to have been done by saving everything
in /etc/old.  However a much better solution would be to use RCS, but
that of course essentially forces users to do at least some
configuration management with RCS too....

With things the way they are users are able to do a simple 2-way diff to
see what's new and what's changed in the /etc/defaults files and, at
least in my experience, the changes that *may* be necessary to the local
configuration are much easier to make.

I might point out too that I'm not the only person who thinks this is
so, nor am I by any means the first person to figure this out -- I'm
just a vocal advocate.  I would very much like to force users to use RCS
(or something similar or better), but I know this would not be a
"popular" thing to do and since it's not so necessary with the current
scheme, nor is it precluded by the current scheme, I'd much rather
the current scheme be left as-is.

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
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