Idea for FreeBSD

Kurt J. Lidl lidl at
Thu Aug 7 20:52:15 UTC 2008

On Thu, Aug 07, 2008 at 07:02:30PM +1000, Peter Jeremy wrote:
> On 2008-Aug-06 19:14:51 -0400, wbentley at wrote:
> >   In Solaris 10 the Services Management Facility (SMF) was introduced.
> The main purpose of SMF appears to be to drum up business for Sun's
> training courses by radically changing Sol10 Administration for little
> benefit.

The main purpose of SMF was to make it possible to programmatically
control the system and deal with the myriad of different types of
faults from the gazillion different things that people want to run
on machines.  It's complex because it has to deal with the real

> >Basically what it does, is take all the rc.d scripts and puts them into
> >a database to manage. Everything is converted to XML and two basic
> >commands (svcs and svcadm) are used to manage everything.

Actually, the inputs to the database are in XML, and this is
distilled down to a binary representation in a sqlite database
that actually drives the system.

While the "svccfg" and "svcadm" interfaces do give you a
single manner of dealing with the database (svccfg) and then
the state of a given service (svcadm).  The other thing that
the SMF system captures entirely is the dependencies between
the different daemons and services.  I'm not sure that the
rcorder stuff in FreeBSD is quite as complete.  It could be,
I just don't know.

Also, there is versioning for the changes of the sqlite database
in Solaris, so you can punt back to a earlier configuration
without much hassle.

> With FreeBSD, I can configure virtually all the system via a single
> text file - which is easily found and kepy under configuration control.
> With Sol10, there are random bits of configuration spread all over the
> system and there is no obvious way to control configuration.

Well, realistically, the sum of the files in /etc/rc.d and
/usr/local/etc/rc.d are also needed, and you need a snapshot of
all of those at a given instant in time to provably know how the
system is going to configure when booted.


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