"Chatty" config files in /etc

Tom Rhodes trhodes at FreeBSD.org
Thu Aug 31 01:46:36 UTC 2006

On Wed, 30 Aug 2006 20:42:19 -0400
Garance A Drosehn <gad at FreeBSD.org> wrote:

> On Aug 30/06, Tom Rhodes asks the reasonable question:
> >On Thu, 31 Aug 2006 00:28:34 +0400
> >Ruslan Ermilov <ru at FreeBSD.org> wrote:
> >
> >  > On Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 01:41:51PM -0400, Garance A Drosehn wrote:
> >  > >
> >>  > I do think those comments and examples are useful, but it might be
> >  > > better to move those lines into separate files.
> >  >
> >  > I think they should be moved to /usr/share/examples/etc/ (like
> >>  make.conf), with files in /etc/ representing good (short) defaults
> >  > with a minimum of comments and probably references to examples.
> >
> >Question is, what files will be moved?  All configuration files
> >or just "some" ?
> I would not move "all" of them.  I think the proper rule would be
> "Split up the ones which constantly annoy me when they change".
> Obviously that's a rather subjective criteria...

A better criteria might be those which may be modified and may
have issues with merging.

> We could pick off a few and change those, and then see if there
> are anymore which should be split up.  My list would be:
>      /etc/hosts
>      /etc/hosts.allow
>      /etc/pf.conf
>      /etc/printcap

Of course, my criteria would be moving a lot, including the
firewall rulesets, login.conf, malloc.conf, etc.  We should
be careful here, there is a chance we could get carried away
and see a ton of files getting moved.  I'm skeptical of this
as it makes configuration files normally stored in /etc a
moving target ... yet it might be good, have you ran an ls in
Linux /etc lately ... damn.

> These are files which have "too many" helpful comments or examples
> in them, and which I have to modify on every single machine I ever
> bring up.  So *every* time one of these changes, I have to stop and
> stare at the diff in the mergemaster step, and 99% of the time the
> change is just to fix or improve some comment.  And in many cases,
> the change is to some line that I remove in my custom copy.  Now
> all of those changes seem to be good changes, but they are still
> an annoyance when it comes to merging in my local changes.


> I've also had a vague plan to split up /etc/newsyslog.conf, but
> in that case most of the lines I want to move are "real" lines
> (not comments), so that requires some coding changes to make it
> work the way I'd want it to work.

As would my idea.  ;)

Tom Rhodes

More information about the cvs-src mailing list