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#1 2012-07-21 11:57:11

swordfish
Member
Registered: 2012-01-14
Posts: 160

Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

Hi there,

today I got a new rc.conf.pacnew file with the latest update (pacman -Syyu; testing-repo enabled). I am following the arch-dev-public mail list and so I know that it is because of some changes to the initscripts package. Now /etc/rc.conf comes almost empty and seems to be somewhat superfluous except for the DAEMONS section. Almost everything else has now to be configured in special files located somewhere in /etc/* (or at least it is recommended).

Guys, to be honest - I don't know if this has been necessary for some technical reason, but from the perspective of a simple user it is a great setback. I really liked the fact, that there was just one central configuration file, that was pretty easy to understand and to work on.

Now, I have to fiddle around with a lot of different files of which some doesn't even exist on my system up to now (for example: right now there is no /etc/hostname, no /etc/adjtime, no /etc/vconsole.conf and no /etc/locale.conf).

So, now I have to set up all these files manually and there are several sources of mistakes if I don't get the correct passages from the man pages that fit my case or I maybe don't understand them (for example: The explanation regarding TIMEZONE and how to handle it outside of rc.conf).

So, apart from the fact that I obviously don't like this step the question is: Can I still use /etc/rc.conf as it is (means: as my central configuration file), or do I *have* to leave it just as a container for the DAEMONS and configure everything else from ground up new in several new files?

Last edited by swordfish (2012-07-21 11:59:48)


Arch_x64 on Thinkpad Edge E520 (Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB Crucial M4 SSD) + ITX-Desktop (Asrock H77M-ITX, Intel Core i3-2120T, 8GB RAM, 64 GB Samsung 830 SSD)

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#2 2012-07-21 12:05:03

masteryod
Member
Registered: 2010-05-19
Posts: 433

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

Acording to arch-dev-public you can leave your current rc.conf file, but I do too feel like it is a big setback (especially for newcomers). I always admired that simplicity of one major config file. On the other hand Arch devs never let me down and I've got faith in them that they'll choose what's best for Arch.

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#3 2012-07-21 12:05:20

Pierre
Developer
From: Bonn
Registered: 2004-07-05
Posts: 1,950
Website

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

If you had actually read the mails you would know that the old rc.conf entries are still supported.

And if you think it will be a great setback for users to edit three files once they install there system, Arch might not be the right choice anyway.

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#4 2012-07-21 12:27:05

swordfish
Member
Registered: 2012-01-14
Posts: 160

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

Pierre wrote:

If you had actually read the mails you would know that the old rc.conf entries are still supported.

Jepp, you're right. I re-read the mails and saw that Tom said it at several occasions - I appologize! However, I wonder if *still supported* means "do as you like - both solutions are equal" or if it means that I will run into problems sooner or later if I still rely on rc.conf?! That's not really clear to me.

Pierre wrote:

And if you think it will be a great setback for users to edit three files once they install there system, Arch might not be the right choice anyway.

Sorry Pierre, I don't want to be offensive, but regarding the KISS principle I think it is a setback if I turn from one central configuration file to several configuration files.


Arch_x64 on Thinkpad Edge E520 (Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB Crucial M4 SSD) + ITX-Desktop (Asrock H77M-ITX, Intel Core i3-2120T, 8GB RAM, 64 GB Samsung 830 SSD)

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#5 2012-07-21 12:27:56

Onyros
Member
From: Lisbon, Portugal
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 293

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

That's a curious take, Pierre. It was (the right choice) for many users up until now, in my case for over 5 years now. Are you meaning to say that it no longer is the right choice, say, for a user like myself? Does that mean that I changed or that Arch changed?

Realistically, it's not much hassle to edit said three files. But if you ask whether I'd rather edit one or 4 files, I'll go ahead and say that in order to Keep It Simple, Sir... I'd rather edit just the one, thank you. wink

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#6 2012-07-21 15:18:32

tomegun
Developer
From: France
Registered: 2010-05-28
Posts: 661

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

The intention is to keep supporting the current rc.conf format forever (in the same way that we will continue supporting the old crypttab format and the old networking settings). However, I am strongly suggesting that new users use the new config files and follow the recommendations in the manpage, and that current users at least skim through the manpage to see the warnings about some of the old options. No new features will be added to the old configuration format, but may (and almost certainly will) be added to the new files.

Please note that it was never a case of editing only rc.conf. You also had to edit /etc/fstab, /etc/crypttab, /etc/hosts, /etc/locale.gen on a basic system, and whatever else you might need if you actually went and installed some packages ;-)

So the change is that instead of editing n files you have to edit n+3 files in the common case (in the simplest of cases you would actually now only need to edit n-1 files as we improved initscripts to deal with rc.conf being unchanged from the defaults, even if none of the new config files are used).

If that had been all there is too it, then that would have been pointless and indeed a regression. However, the new config files comes with greater flexibility, more options and the possibility of integrating with third-party, cross-distro tools. Imagine configuration helpers either from GUI's or stuff like puppy if you administer several machines. Typically Arch dev's don't have any input on how these are made, and we don't want to go around patching them for rc.conf support. Using cross-distro config files also means that we can share guides, how-tos and wiki entries between the distros, which will surely benefit everyone.

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#7 2012-07-21 15:56:31

kokoko3k
Member
Registered: 2008-11-14
Posts: 1,471

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

understood, but now the question is:
will a systemd setting have the priority over an rc.conf one?

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#8 2012-07-22 19:06:11

masteryod
Member
Registered: 2010-05-19
Posts: 433

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

OK, after subscribing to arch-dev-public and reading couple of e-mails about this whole rc.conf issue I must retract my opinion about rc.conf being setback and also I need to say that Arch is (as always) in good hands smile All this mess is just misunderstanding.

PS I guess it wouldn't harm to post some news about it (Tom's e-mail about heading towards systemd would suffice). Not everybody reads MList.

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#9 2012-07-22 19:15:17

tomegun
Developer
From: France
Registered: 2010-05-28
Posts: 661

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

kokoko3k wrote:

understood, but now the question is:
will a systemd setting have the priority over an rc.conf one?

Yes. The reason being that the systemd config files do not exist unless you manually create them, so the assumption is that if you create them you want to use them. rc.conf, on the other hand, always exists.

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#10 2012-07-22 19:16:13

tomegun
Developer
From: France
Registered: 2010-05-28
Posts: 661

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

masteryod wrote:

OK, after subscribing to arch-dev-public and reading couple of e-mails about this whole rc.conf issue I must retract my opinion about rc.conf being setback and also I need to say that Arch is (as always) in good hands smile All this mess is just misunderstanding.

PS I guess it wouldn't harm to post some news about it (Tom's e-mail about heading towards systemd would suffice). Not everybody reads MList.

Once initscripts goes to [core] I'll post a news item.

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#11 2012-07-22 22:28:24

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,162

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

So, in a very simplified version: If you have a basic setup, rc.conf will be sufficient, but the moment you try doing anything fance, you should use the three extra files?

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#12 2012-07-22 22:31:21

tomegun
Developer
From: France
Registered: 2010-05-28
Posts: 661

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

Awebb wrote:

So, in a very simplified version: If you have a basic setup, rc.conf will be sufficient, but the moment you try doing anything fance, you should use the three extra files?

That is my recommendation, yes. However, you are still free to use rc.conf as before, if you prefer that.

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#13 2012-07-23 01:15:51

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

Onyros wrote:

That's a curious take, Pierre. It was (the right choice) for many users up until now, in my case for over 5 years now. Are you meaning to say that it no longer is the right choice, say, for a user like myself? Does that mean that I changed or that Arch changed?

Realistically, it's not much hassle to edit said three files. But if you ask whether I'd rather edit one or 4 files, I'll go ahead and say that in order to Keep It Simple, Sir... I'd rather edit just the one, thank you. wink

Just so we're clear: It is understood that these are primarily files that only get edited on the very rare, as-needed basis for most people, right? The switch in network management, what--almst four months ago?--was the last time I touched rc.conf; before that, the last big change was back in October.  Unless a user wishes to make changes on the level of adding a home network where previously none existed, or some such, chances are they won't be editing all those files at once after the initial installation.

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#14 2012-07-23 01:18:43

ngoonee
Forum Fellow
From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 6,815

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

Onyros wrote:

Realistically, it's not much hassle to edit said three files. But if you ask whether I'd rather edit one or 4 files, I'll go ahead and say that in order to Keep It Simple, Sir... I'd rather edit just the one, thank you. wink

KISS does NOT at all refer to being 'easy-to-use'. The wiki covers that quite explicitly....


Allan-Volunteer on the (topic being discussed) mailn lists. You never get the people who matters attention on the forums.
jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
Griemak-Bleeding edge, not bleeding flat. Edge denotes falls will occur from time to time. Bring your own parachute.

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#15 2012-07-23 01:51:15

Onyros
Member
From: Lisbon, Portugal
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 293

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

ngoonee, I get it. What I meant, from a *user's* standpoint, is that when given the chance to edit one or four files, I'd choose the first, not the latter. I've been using Arch - exclusively - for long enough to know what it is about. That doesn't make Arch any less right for me, though - even if I had to edit said extra files. Doesn't bother me one bit: my preference doesn't constitute complaint. Simple as that.

My main installations are rolling on 2 and 4.5 years old (chose Arch for my Raspberry Pi, as well, does it count?), and other than adding or removing daemons, I hardly remember touching the config files. If I made a fuss about those four files - especially taking into account the time I've spent tweaking other stuff -, it wouldn't make much sense, now would it?

Last edited by Onyros (2012-07-23 01:52:54)

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#16 2012-07-23 06:35:34

krum
Member
From: Grenoble - FR
Registered: 2008-04-10
Posts: 32

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

The real issue is, I think, only a lack of communication.
As a simple user, if I don't follow the arch-dev-public mailinglist, where could I find a central point of information (maybe a wiki page) regarding the whole systemd/rc.conf transition/futur/draft?

Not only the technical information but also the differents arguments from devellopers about this situation (to understand and not flame the forum after).

PS: more and more I read this kind of answer from dev "And if you think whateverblablabla, Arch might not be the right choice anyway.", IMHO it's a bit too offensive... no answer or just a technical answer would be better for everyone.

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#17 2012-07-23 06:54:45

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,162

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

@krum: There is no such a central document, or if there is one, it is not public. You can, however, read it up in the mailing list archive.

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#18 2012-07-23 07:19:43

ngoonee
Forum Fellow
From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 6,815

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

krum wrote:

The real issue is, I think, only a lack of communication.
As a simple user, if I don't follow the arch-dev-public mailinglist, where could I find a central point of information (maybe a wiki page) regarding the whole systemd/rc.conf transition/futur/draft?

Not only the technical information but also the differents arguments from devellopers about this situation (to understand and not flame the forum after).

As a horse, if I don't walk up to the feedlot, where can I find another place with hay? The point of arch-dev-public is for such information. You don't even need to be subscribed to it to read it (and unless you want to put your input in, you can just read the parts you're interested in after having been notified via archlinux.org). You DO need to be subscribed to it if you want to know what's coming up. That's the central point of information.

krum wrote:

PS: more and more I read this kind of answer from dev "And if you think whateverblablabla, Arch might not be the right choice anyway.", IMHO it's a bit too offensive... no answer or just a technical answer would be better for everyone.

Actually, it IS the case for a simple majority of rant-ers that Arch is not the right choice. Depending on the culture you come from, this is probably not very polite. Neither is ranting about:-
a) not being informed (when announcements are always posted up beforehand)
b) not liking changes (unproductive, most of the time)
c) how Arch is heading in the wrong direction and distro A/B/C are now better (please, do go)

And the 'no answer' option is what most devs are taking. There's only a handful who frequent the forums, or read arch-general. At least devs have the right to not be politically correct, especially in comparison with the majority of complainers.


Allan-Volunteer on the (topic being discussed) mailn lists. You never get the people who matters attention on the forums.
jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
Griemak-Bleeding edge, not bleeding flat. Edge denotes falls will occur from time to time. Bring your own parachute.

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#19 2012-07-23 07:34:01

jasonwryan
Forum & Wiki Admin
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 18,524
Website

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

I just spent 10 minutes emptying out my rc.conf and populating the six other files (one each for three modules in /modules-load.d/) and everything works as expected.


My only question, Tom, is given that rc.conf only needs contain the daemons line, shouldn't it be renamed to /etc/daemons? tongue


Arch + dwm   •   Mercurial repos  •   Github

Registered Linux User #482438

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#20 2012-07-23 10:04:13

swordfish
Member
Registered: 2012-01-14
Posts: 160

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

Over the last days I read a lot - here in the forum an I read and re-read several postings on arch-dev-public. As a conclusion it became clear, that the changes to rc.conf happen because of the ongoing switch to systemd (at least I hope that I got that right smile ).

In consequence I took a deep breath and switched my system from initscripts to systemd - including all the new config-files, and rc.conf has gone.

Feels somewhat unfamiliar but - anyway - it's always exciting to learn something new wink

By the way, I would back the position of krum - lack of communication is in fact the central issue in this discussion. There are a lot of complaints all over the forum  - and it's not nagging but bewilderment about what's going on here. A little bit more explanation and communication could have prevented this perplexity.


Arch_x64 on Thinkpad Edge E520 (Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB Crucial M4 SSD) + ITX-Desktop (Asrock H77M-ITX, Intel Core i3-2120T, 8GB RAM, 64 GB Samsung 830 SSD)

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#21 2012-07-23 10:10:30

krum
Member
From: Grenoble - FR
Registered: 2008-04-10
Posts: 32

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

ngoonee wrote:

As a horse, if I don't walk up to the feedlot, where can I find another place with hay? The point of arch-dev-public is for such information. You don't even need to be subscribed to it to read it (and unless you want to put your input in, you can just read the parts you're interested in after having been notified via archlinux.org). You DO need to be subscribed to it if you want to know what's coming up. That's the central point of information.

Maybe the mailing list isn't the better place for discuting/arguing/explaining such a big change.
Even some devs are discovering the situation: http://www.mail-archive.com/arch-dev-pu … 19661.html

ngoonee wrote:

Actually, it IS the case for a simple majority of rant-ers that Arch is not the right choice. Depending on the culture you come from, this is probably not very polite. Neither is ranting about:-
a) not being informed (when announcements are always posted up beforehand)
b) not liking changes (unproductive, most of the time)
c) how Arch is heading in the wrong direction and distro A/B/C are now better (please, do go)

And the 'no answer' option is what most devs are taking. There's only a handful who frequent the forums, or read arch-general. At least devs have the right to not be politically correct, especially in comparison with the majority of complainers.

Of course you're right, but no words are better that bad words.

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#22 2012-07-23 10:20:06

tomegun
Developer
From: France
Registered: 2010-05-28
Posts: 661

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

jasonwryan wrote:

My only question, Tom, is given that rc.conf only needs contain the daemons line, shouldn't it be renamed to /etc/daemons? tongue

Haha, if ever I feel the need for more flames I'll remember your suggestion (and credit it with it! :-P).

Seriously though, I think it makes sense that rc.conf configures which daemons in rc.d/ to start.

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#23 2012-07-23 10:23:38

tomegun
Developer
From: France
Registered: 2010-05-28
Posts: 661

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

swordfish wrote:

By the way, I would back the position of krum - lack of communication is in fact the central issue in this discussion. There are a lot of complaints all over the forum  - and it's not nagging but bewilderment about what's going on here. A little bit more explanation and communication could have prevented this perplexity.

I agree, so I tried to rectify this: http://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/ … 23283.html

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#24 2012-07-23 13:07:25

swordfish
Member
Registered: 2012-01-14
Posts: 160

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

tomegun wrote:
swordfish wrote:

By the way, I would back the position of krum - lack of communication is in fact the central issue in this discussion. There are a lot of complaints all over the forum  - and it's not nagging but bewilderment about what's going on here. A little bit more explanation and communication could have prevented this perplexity.

I agree, so I tried to rectify this: http://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/ … 23283.html

Hi Tom, yes, your posting explained the thoughts and targets behind this move pretty well - thanks a lot for this wink !


Arch_x64 on Thinkpad Edge E520 (Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB Crucial M4 SSD) + ITX-Desktop (Asrock H77M-ITX, Intel Core i3-2120T, 8GB RAM, 64 GB Samsung 830 SSD)

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#25 2012-07-23 14:15:07

Onyros
Member
From: Lisbon, Portugal
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 293

Re: Has rc.conf become unnecessary?

Just moved to systemd (with initscripts-systemd, suppose it'll keep on being supported) and I have a very, very important complaint right now: the green! Aaaaarrrggghhh, it hurts my eyes. Can't we change it to good old Arch blue? tongue

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