[Fedora-packaging] Configuration files in /usr

Ralf Corsepius rc040203 at freenet.de
Wed Feb 28 05:46:28 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-02-27 at 23:06 -0600, Jason L Tibbitts III wrote:
> Any opinions on %config files in /usr?  This seems to violate all
> sorts of common sense surrounding shared or read only /usr, but does
> not seem to be mentioned in the guidelines.
This question seems overly simplistic to me.

1. "%config" doesn't necessarily mean this file to be a configuration
file. It means, the packager has taken into account that users can have
customized certain files and wants to play it nice to those users and
wants to avoid trashing their work.

It's essentially the same rationale, as why I consider FPC's decision to
drop %config on init-scripts a fault.

2. There exist real (designed to be user-customizable) config files,
which for traditional reasons live outside of /etc. Pedantically
speaking these should not live outside of /etc, but in practice you
can't change them, at least not easily and at least not "immediately".

3. There is a flaw/leak/gap inside of the FHS: /etc only covers
"Host-specific system configuration" and doesn't cover "site-wide
configuration", while /usr/share is supposed to take "arch-independent
files". This has lead to problems when it comes to site-wide config
files, because /etc definitely is not the correct place to put them.

> An example package is hwdata:
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=225893
> Patrice mentions in that bug that FHS covers us here, but the
> guideline only asks that deviations from FHS be rationalized.
In this particular case, I agree with the packager to make these files 
%config. Most users won't touch them, therefore won't see any effects.
But those who touched them (E.g. because they add an usb-id for this
freaking bleeding edge usb-device they just installed), will be grateful
when rpm doesn't throw away their work on update.


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