a place for configuration files

Freddie Cash fcash at ocis.net
Thu Mar 23 03:13:23 UTC 2006

On Wed, March 22, 2006 5:06 pm, Andrzej Cuber wrote:
> for the last 5 years I was using Red Hat and Fedora Core Linuxes. With
> the beginning of the current year I installed FreeBSD Release 6 on
> one of my servers. It took me about a week to setup the system but I
> am very happy with it now.

> I build most of the stuff from the sources using ports.
> What I found strange is that the configuration files of different
> services are located in two different places. Most configuration which
> was installed from the CD is located at /etc but everything what I
> built from sources is located at /usr/local/etc. Maybe this is the way
> it use to be on Unix based systems.

> In RedHat and Fedora distributions all configuration files are
> located at /etc. I am very new to FreeBSD but I found it difficult.
> After installing desired package I have
> to add it to /etc/rc.conf in order to start it as a service and then I
> have to look for configuration folder in /usr/local/etc.

> Is there any reason why the configuration files are placed in those
> different locations?

It gives you a very clear delineation between "what is part of the OS"
and "what did I install on top of the OS".  In FreeBSD, there are two
separate mechanisms for upgrades:  buildword/freebsd-update for the
base OS, and the many methods of doing port/package upgrades.  They
can be upgraded separately, and all the installed files are put in
separate places.

It keeps things neat and tidy and separate.

Nothing drives me battier than logging onto a Linux station and seeing
a thousand entries under /etc, with no clear indication of what is
"the base OS" and what are "apps installed on the OS".  Everything's a
mess, and stored under /etc and /usr.  Annoying to say the least.

Freddie Cash
fcash at ocis.net

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