Handbook Jail Chapter rewrite available for critique

Andreas Nilsson andrnils at gmail.com
Mon Mar 18 21:41:57 UTC 2013

On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 6:45 PM, Robert Huff <roberthuff at rcn.com> wrote:

> Isaac (.ike) Levy writes:
> >  Pretty heavy cross-posting here, could you perhaps reign this in
> >  to the freebsd-jail@ list, where it can be discussed in-context?
> >  This will help keep the noise down.
>         It will also keep down the signal from people who use or are
> interested in jails, but do not (and do not plan to) subscribe to
> that list.
>                                 Robert Huff
Great! There really was a need to modernize the handbook with regards to
jails. Since I'm not a native English speaker I'll leave grammar and
spelling for those who are ;)

My first impressions are along the lines:
To much scripts, to few examples/scenarios. Our users are smart, show them
what can be accomplished with "high-level" config, leave minutiae to some
part of the appendix.

Also the exclusion of zfs and vnet is surprising, as those really make
jails shine, imo ( although jails really need to be thought about the
"gray" area visa-vi networking in rc-scripts that vnet provides ). How
about the resource control, which further makes jails really spiffy.

I would have preferred top-level separation of the different methods, ie
after the introduction there was one "track" manual, one for old-school
rc-, one for new-school rc- and one for jail.conf-style jails.

More specifically I agree with Isaac Levy's, especially in regards to the
"jail cell" terminology:

"16.1 Synopsis": the term jail cell is used, long before being defined.

"16.2 Introduction": Mentioning jail cells in a historic contest is imho a
"blatant" lie ( they were never known as such ). As far as I know, no
official documentation has called them cells, either. That does not mean
that it's not an appropriate term, though. As a contrast there is Solaris
vocabulary of zones ( "cells" ) and global zone ( "jail system" ). In this
regard I prefer the solaris one.
Most importantly, a large chunk of 16.2 would imo fit much better as a
"history"-appendix. Current and new users don't need to know and consider
the limitations of earlier implementations. The "generations" talked about
could perhaps be quantified with a release version :)

There are, as stated by Isaac Levy, many (good) utils for managing jails.
Why the focus on qjail? I also think that most of the strong points of
jails are rendered moot without, in order, zfs and vimage. Linux jails
might also interest quite a few people.

Best regards

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