Brilliant and very useful for FreeBSD, IMHO

Michael Josefsson mj at
Wed Apr 9 04:24:28 PDT 2003

On Wednesday, Apr 9, 2003, at 12:29 Europe/Stockholm, Terry Lambert 

> Michael Josefsson wrote:
>> On Tuesday, Apr 8, 2003, at 20:30 Europe/Stockholm, Daniela wrote:
>>> Let the sysadmin tinker with the system, let the user use what the
>>> sysadmin sets up, and everything in this world will be working.
>> Hear, hear! Well spoken. If we consider the system as a tool, then let
>> someone set it up and let the users use it. Full stop. It's a militant
>> mode but we do this everyday without complaining: The TV-set is
>> premade, we seldom try to make it do anything else than receive 
>> picture
>> and sound, the car has its four wheels because they are very good at
>> doing their job while there etc.
> Too militant.  This is like saying you should need a sysadmin
> for your TV in order to set the SAP, Brightness, Contrast, and
> other software settings on the TV.  It's not like people are
> tinkering inside their computer hardware, either.  You need to
> think in terms of a strict division of labor between hardware
> and software, but software setting should be tinkerable.


Lets get down to cases. At my job I ran a LAN with 65+ computers, most 
of them are dualbooting winxp and unix. Almost all problems stem from 
the win-boxes and that is not because they are more used, they arent, 
but because people insist on downloading software and installing it on 
them. Most sw for win seems to assume a non-networked environment and 
clutter up the local disk after a while. Yes we ghost the partitions 
and expect a reinstall now and then.

With FreeBSD the problem does not exist. There is no way I'll give away 
the root account to let them install software of their choice onto the 
machines. Since their "home" is on a samba/nfs-server all they can do 
is mess up their own space.

The FBSD machines are installed with what they are likely to use in 
terms of software and if some software is missing I will gladly install 
it for them (for the benefit of everyone in the lab due to nfs). The 
point is that I have control and wont install any ol' program (do you 
know how many mp3-players there are out there in win-land...), it has 
to be of relevant use.

All in all: I take the militant approach to have a lab I can trust will 
work thay way it is intended. I have no problems with not having 
root-account on the universities Solaris system either, as long as the 
policy doesnt stop me from doing relevant work.


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