[lsb-futures] Re: Configuration File Spec part of LSB?

Chris Lawrence lawrencc at debian.org
Sat Jul 13 14:37:54 PDT 2002

On Jul 13, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> The second observation I would make is that given the merger of SuSE,
> Turbo Linux, Caldera, etc. into the United Linux distribution, if
> you're right that SuSE is already using the rc.config.d system here
> are some things that could be done to popularize it.
> 1)  Try to convince Red Hat to adopt this scheme.
> 2)  Try to convince Debian to adopt this scheme.  (Be prepared for
> nasty politics.)
> 3) Suggest that this directory be documented in the Filesystem
> Hierarchy Standard.

Note that Debian packages seem to be moving toward an
/etc/default/INIT_SCRIPT_NAME scheme (see Debian policy section
10.3.2), while I believe Red Hat uses /etc/sysconfig/INIT_SCRIPT_NAME
fairly consistently.  If a canonical location is desired, perhaps the
FHS should mandate that and allow distributors time to migrate.

However, mandating a format is probably more problematic, although
most of these files seem to be simply setting shell variables.
(Debian specifially mandates that "It must contain only variable
settings and comments in POSIX sh format.")

Matter of fact, *if you are going to do this* I strongly recommend
modeling the language after Debian policy 10.3.2, or at least find out
what Red Hat and United Linux are doing and figure out a least common
denominator of these implementations, and then pick a directory name
that NONE of the three use so people don't bitch that it's RH-centric
or UL-centric or Debian-centric (avoiding politics above), and allow
$CANONICAL_LOCATION to be a symlink so distributors don't have to hack
up their packages and the link can hide in distributors' "we're only
LSB-compliant if you install this package" packages.

Aside: I don't think that the LSB's place is to mandate distribution
behavior except in the area of LSB application support - or else you
get into nasty situations like requiring the underlying OS to behave
like a classic Unix system, which some LSB compliant platforms may not
be - think of LSB applications on the Hurd or QNX, for example.  Now,
if you want to specify that LSB *applications* should have their
tweakable parameters in a certain /etc directory, feel free.  But I'd
leave basic distributor behavior to other standards, like the FHS,
POSIX.1, etc.  But again, if you want the LSB to be something
different, I strongly recommend the "if one distributor is going to
have to be screwed, screw them all" approach.

Chris Lawrence <chris at lordsutch.com> - http://www.lordsutch.com/chris/
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