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List Archive: gentoo-amd64
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To: gentoo-amd64@g.o
From: Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@...>
Subject: Re: Update config files
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 00:48:37 -0700
felix posted <20060109224837.GA11125@...>, excerpted below,  on
Mon, 09 Jan 2006 14:48:37 -0800:

> On Mon, Jan 09, 2006 at 04:14:03PM -0500, Mark Haney wrote:
>> What's the best way to update config files?  I am a big fan of RH's 
>> method of dealing with them, and can't stand the way Debian does it, so 
>> how do the majority of Gentoo users manage their config files?
> What I do is use RCS on any config file I modify[.]  When I started, I
> was not aware of the gentoo update programs, so I use my own little
> script[.]

I don't see the original post yet, here, so I'll reply to this one.

If you (Mark) are asking the question, it probably means you haven't read
the Gentoo documentation on the subject.  That's in the handbook, and if
you've missed that, there's quite a lot of additional very useful
information there you've likely also missed.  Too many folks read just the
installation section, and miss all the other information, including this. 
Would you try to drive a car without learning the controls?  Why then are
you trying to drive Gentoo without learning them?  Just because you've
used other cars/Linux-distribs doesn't mean Gentoo's controls are in the
same place or work the same way, and if you get it wrong, you can easily
be a danger to yourself and others.

Overall handbook URL:

You'll probably want to read or at least scan the working with portage and
working with Gentoo sections.  In particular, the answer to the question
you asked here is discussed in the handbook, part 3, Working with Portage,
chapter 4, Additional Portage Tools.  You'll want either etc-update, if
you don't want to bother keeping a history of past configurations, or
dispatch-conf, if you want to keep an RCS style history of past
configurations, for easy rollback should it become necessary.

Because Gentoo is normally build-from-source and that can be a hassle if
you decide you want to rollback an entire package to a previous version,
portage has the ability to create and use binary packages as well as
from-source.  To backup a package as it already exists on your system, use
quickpkg, covered in the same chapter.  To create a binary package at
build-time, use the appropriate emerge switches.  You can tell portage to
create binary packages for everything it emerges, so you'll always have
them if needed, by setting FEATURES=buildpkg in make.conf.  See part 2,
Working with Gentoo, chapter 3, Portage Features, for coverage of these
options.  There's also documentation in make.conf.example and in the
various manpages, make.conf and emerge, in particular.  Unless you are
short on space (it requires 2-4 gig to store the binpkgs for an entire
system, with several versions of the frequently updated ones), I'd
recommend setting FEATURES=buildpkg, as it DEFINITELY makes rolling back
to earlier versions of a package, or simply retrieving files as they were
in the original package, MUCH easier than having to remerge from source an
entire package!

Of course, the rest of those parts have equally useful information, so I'd
recommend you read or at least scan them as well.  Doing all the stuff a
responsible sysadmin does to maintain a system is MUCH easier, knowing
the tools Gentoo has available to help, and the basics of how to use them.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman in

gentoo-amd64@g.o mailing list

Update config files
-- Mark Haney
Re: Update config files
-- felix
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