JP Vossen on 8 Jan 2008 17:52:29 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] relevancy of config files (WAS Sharing an Internet Connection)

From: "Brent Saner" <>
 > config files as opposed to what?
 > i like the fact that i can back up an entire system-wide
 > configuration by just copying a bunch of plaintext files. no
 > proprietary binaries to worry about, nothing possibly getting
 > "broken" and leaving your system unconfigurable...

Me too, me too.  (Sorry, had an AOL moment... :)

Cast my vote for config files.  I also come from the DOS/Windows world. 
  I could live with .ini files and they might even has a slight edge of 
Linux config files in that they were sort-of standardized.  But I hate 
the registry with a passion.  Make me think of the old Dilbert in which 
he's instructed to make the user reboot if they make a mistake.  As 
Brent noted, screw up your registry and you can easily trash your 
machine totally.  Screw up a config file and *worst* case, Google for 
the stock one or just reinstall the package and go from there.  NBD.

Over the weekend I totally rebuilt a machine, and I was able to:
1) Do a clean install of a somewhat newer version of the OS
2) Check out the machine's previous /etc/ from Subversion, into /tmp/
3) Copy the .svn stuff into the brand new, stock, /etc/
4) svn st to see what was different between the brand new, stock, /etc/ 
and the /etc/ I'd previously had from the older version of the OS and 
that I'd also customized.

That was all *amazingly* useful.  Try that with any other config system 
you can come up with.

Though having said that, I love the M0n0wall setup where the *entire* 
system config (yes, *everything*) is a single XML file.  Talk about easy 
backup, change control and restore!  (Yes, XML can be yucky, and no, 
doing what I did above would not be trivial.  It's still cool.)

JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|        jp{at}jpsdomain{dot}org
My Account, My Opinions     |=========|
Microsoft has single-handedly nullified Moore's Law.
Innate design flaws of Windows make a personal firewall, anti-virus
and anti-malware software mandatory. The resulting software arms race
has effectively flattened Moore's Law on hardware running Windows.
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