What we keep under /etc

Makoto Matsushita matusita at jp.FreeBSD.org
Sat Oct 9 11:47:02 PDT 2004

Please consider what FreeBSD users think, not us -- they usually
change /etc files directly (not using CVS or revision control system,
nor making a diff against the original), updating the world from a new
source code _not_ so many times, read written documentation (not
Makefile nor code itself), ...  IMHO for those users, updating /etc
files without any warnings could lead a panic, so we must avoid it as
we can.

For my understandings, that's why mergemaster(8) (or "check and help
updating /etc files" tool) is there.  If mergemaster(8) behaves badly,
we can fix it -- not changing what "make installworld" does.

eivind> I think this is a good solution because this is not a merging
eivind> problem, it is a mergemaster problem.

Thank you.

> Since mergemaster(8) is considered as a mandatory tool for admin (I
> hope nobody objects),

eivind> I object.

Ouch:)  Yes I know that some users doesn't update /etc if installworld
as you mentioned.  However, according to src/UPDATING, mergemaster(8)
is listed in source-code upgrade procedure -- and many users knows
what mergemaster(8) is.  Many guys mentioned to use mergemaster(8) on
current@/stable@ list.  No matter what you dislike or not, it seems
that it's mandatory one....

In anyway,

eivind> The majority do (in order of frequence, high to low) manual
eivind> updates or don't update /etc unless they have to or use
eivind> etcmerge or write their own scripts.

you also think that it would be better updating /etc files by some
other tools (well, I'll try using etcmerge later, thank you), not by
"make installworld", right?

-- -
Makoto `MAR' Matsushita

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