On Thu, 13 Feb 2003, Curt Sampson wrote:

> On Thu, 13 Feb 2003, Christopher Browne wrote:
> > 1.  It assumes that there is "a location" for "the configuration files
> >     for /the single database instance./"
> No; it assumes that there's a location for "the default instance." If
> you have more than one, you could have one default and one elsewhere, or
> just do what I often do, which is put in an empty config file except for
> a comment saying "we have several instances of <xxx> on this machine; look
> in <yyy> for them."
> > 2.  It assumes I have write access to /etc
> >
> >     If I'm a Plain Old User, as opposed to root, I may only have
> >     read-only access to /etc.
> Right. It's dependent on the sysadmin to create /etc/postgres/ and make
> it writeable, or set up proper symlinks, or whatever.
> Fortunately, the files in /etc are only the defaults, to be used if
> they're not overridden on the command line. If you're in a situation
> like #2, you're basically stuck where we are now all the time: you have
> to just put it somewhere and hope that, if someone else needs to find
> it, they can.

It doesn't follow this line of argument directly but it's to do with this

Is everyone forgetting that wherever the configuration file is stored and
whether or not it needs a command line argument to specify it the database is
not going to start up automatically unless at least part of the installation is
done as root anyway?

As I like to install software as a non root user normally anyway I am happy
that the config file lives somewhere not requiring write access by the
installer. However, I think having it in an etc directory is a good thing
(tm). So, colour me an uncommited, fence sitter :)

I'm not talking distribution/package installation here but just plain system
administration. Being an untrusting soul I do _not_ want to type make install
as root and find things installed outside of where I say I want things placed.
That includes configuration files. Doing this as a normal user protects the
system from bad software which assumes things about the host system. It also
simplifies switching between versions of software, try doing that if your
config is /etc/postgresql/postgres.conf.

Nigel J. Andrews

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