[CentOS-devel] rhwas 5 work?

Sat Mar 29 20:52:38 UTC 2008
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

Les Mikesell wrote:
> R P Herrold wrote:
>> Two lines of code permit a person ignorant of PATH changes to reach 
>> their ill-advised desire;
> But giving root a different and confusingly different environment was a 
> late and unique branch in history.  And unnecessary.
>> altering the operating system, so that the minimal tools needed for 
>> recovery from the single '/' partition would be a massive and 
>> pervasive changed, and a serious loss.  It is a fool's errand to do 
>> so; it has proved a debating society's pigsty to wallow in.
> When small disk drives cost $10,000 and most machines could only be 
> booted from the vendor-suppied device, there was a reason to care if you 
> could boot from a tiny partition.  That reason is long gone but...
> That's not the change being discussed.  It is more about combining /sbin 
> with /bin and /usr/sbin with /usr/bin - or simply giving everyone the 
> same PATH.  There is no sensible reason that a user should wonder why he 
> can't run ifconfig to get his IP address, or that root shouldn't be able 
> to find fdisk if he used 'su' instead of 'su -' to get there.
>> Discarding culture, ignoring history, and faddishly taking away 
>> strengths to 'gain share' is the way of vendors and those with an 
>> agenda to grind; and not the way of those who live in the Unix culture 
>> who need to work in a long lived stable environment.
> You should look at the whole history before saying that.  You'll find 
> that adding the /sbin and /usr/sbin directories was the faddish move in 
> Solaris, probably because they didn't trust their dynamic-linked 
> programs and put static-linked utilities there to help recover from 
> possible problems.  I'm not sure who had the bright idea of supplying 
> different environments to root compared to other users, but I'd bet it 
> didn't come from the original and elegantly simple unix versions, and it 
> doesn't play well with the current best practice advice to only switch 
> to root when needed.   Aside from the PATH nonsense, consider what 
> happens when someone is accustomed to the aliases only in root's 
> environment accidentally does 'su' instead of 'su -', and wonders why rm 
> didn't ask if he really wanted to do that.
> If you want people to learn to use unix usefully, you have to expose its 
> simplicity consistently, not disguise it differently under different 
> circumstances.

What the hell does this have to do with anything remotely relating to 

There is an FHS, almost all UNIX variants use it ... there is a reason 
for root to have a different path than normal users.

This is the document:

If you want the standards changed, there are working groups to get it 
changed ... this is NOT one of those working groups.

Please take traffic concerning how screwed up the FHS is and how it is 
an old standard for an old time to the appropriate place.

If the FHS changes and removes /sbin and/or if the recommended paths 
change, then will change UNIX wide.  I can guarantee that if that 
happens, CentOS will also change.  I can also guarantee that as long as 
things stay the way they are, it is silly to discuss these changes on 
this thread.

Johnny Hughes

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