Subject: Re: RFC: migration to a fully dynamically linked system
To: maximum entropy <>
From: Todd Vierling <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 12/29/2001 18:42:21
On Sat, 29 Dec 2001, maximum entropy wrote:

: >Perhaps the question should be rephrased as, "do we *need* the ability for
: >init to have external auth methods, and so forth?"  If not, then init can
: >stay static without pain.
: That seems like an intelligent question to ask.  Is there any reason
: not to ask the same question about every program in /bin and /sbin,
: instead of just init?

Well, that depends on whether you're looking at /bin and /sbin as simply
part of the bootable OS, or as some kind of "recovery tool set".

The tools critical to mounting, checking, and listing filesystems need
access to the password database, and thus need the ability to use pluggable
nsswitch modules.  As a result, you basically can't view /bin and /sbin as
"recovery tools" under this need.

So, the only real win in keeping other things in /bin and /sbin static is
less exec-time overhead, which would only help you noticeably in a slim
numbder of cases for programs used intensively in scripts (such as mv(1),
cp(1)).  Such programs as sh(1), chmod(1), and ls(1) have to be dynamic for
passwd database access.

-- Todd Vierling <>  *  Wasabi & NetBSD:  Run with it.
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