System Restore

Matthew S-H mathbymath at
Mon Jun 27 22:21:23 UTC 2005

On Jun 26, 2005, at 8:01 PM, Vram wrote:
> Eric S. Johansson wrote:
>> Martin J Hooper wrote:
>>> Eric S. Johansson wrote:
>>>> I propose separating the base system and the site-specific  
>>>> modifications into two separate regions.  The base OS plus any  
>>>> changes to the base (security, bug fixes etc.) go into the base  
>>>> region.  Any site-specific changes such as applications or  
>>>> configuration changes go into the site-specific region. The two  
>>>> regions are merged dynamically (unionfs?) such that anything in  
>>>> the site-specific region is dominant and supersedes anything in  
>>>> the base region. making changes to files or directories should  
>>>> be automatically placed in the site-specific region.
>>> I was just thinking about partitioning being something along  
>>> these lines.
>>> I have a root and a home partition - Wouldn't it be easier as  
>>> well to have a small etc partition too.  Then if you needed to  
>>> reinstall the OS you would just tell the installer to mount  
>>> without formatting.
>>> Or would that not work??
>> it's only the first step.  For example if you have two partitions  
>> site-etc and base-etc, you need some form of a file system overlay  
>> to dynamically merge site-etc and base-etc such that if the file  
>> is present in site-etc, it will take primary over the version in  
>> base-etc.  If you edit a file which comes from base-etc and save  
>> the changes, the changes will be saved in site-etc.
>> At the same time you want to be able to have site-etc and base-etc  
>> accessible as separate file systems without the merging process  
>> getting away for purposes of backup.
>> Anyway, that's just a little more of the thoughts on the path.
> I think if you rename /etc/ to /site-etc and /base-etc you will  
> break the system.
> Or maybe I misunderstood you.  Have you seen someone do this?  Or  
> have you tried it.
> Applications you install will look for configuration in /etc.  The  
> base system is set up to work this way.
Easy solution.
1.    Create sym-links in /etc to files in /site-etc.
2.    Make /site-etc only accessible by root.
3.    Then, whenever you want to create a "site-specific" file, just  
delete the sym-link in /etc and make a new file!!

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