Stupid end-user tricks: darcs for /etc and /boot

Daniel Carrera daniel.carrera at
Tue Jun 20 21:22:21 UTC 2006

Alexander Skwar wrote:
>> it prompts the user to view changes to important files 
> Well, again not quite true. Not just to "important" files, but to
> *all* files stored in one of the "CONFIG_PROTECT" (the 1st list)
> directories.

Seems like you are nit-picking since this point is unrelated to the OP's 
position. He's saying that etc-update is dangerous.

>> (fstab being one). If the user chooses the worng config file his 
>> system is hosed until he modifies the offending file.
> Well - that's *not* the fault of etc-update, though!

If a program can easily be used wrong in a way that can hose the system, 
it doesn't matter whose "fault" it is, one can reasonably say that the 
program can hose the system and should be used with caution. The same is 
true for fdisk and dd.

>> I got tired of pouring over intimate details of every single /etc file 
>> (and paying for it when I chose the wrong options). It's that simple,
> Now, *that's* a valid complaint. But that complaint doesn't have anything
> to do with etc-update anymore. It's you who got tired and made wrong
> choices.

A program where you can easily make wrong choices that have major 
reprecautions constitutes a dangerous program that should be used carefully.

> There's just so much that Gentoo/etc-update can do about it.

Whether there is or isn't something Gentoo can do is not the point in 
question. There is not much we can do to make dd and fdisk completely 
safe, and that's fine, it just means we have to accept that they are 
dangerous commands that should be used with caution.

> How should this be done, in your opinion?

This is not really relevant to the OP's position. For example, I think 
that dd works pretty much the way it should, but that doesn't make it 
any less dangerous (I'd change the syntax to match the Unix standard 

   "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the
   unreasonable man tries to adapt the world to himself.
   Therefore all progress depends on unreasonable men."
         -- George Bernard Shaw

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