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DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2003-07
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Re: dynamic /bin /sbin

From: Richard Coleman <richardcoleman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 16:03:21 -0400

Bosko Milekic wrote:

  FWIW, the nsswitch "problem" doesn't necessarily require you to go to
  a dynamically-linked root and this was in fact one of the recent
  topics of conversation on some of the freebsd lists.

  Personally, I myself prefer the so-called "IPC" approach to doing
  nsswitch.  Namely, a daemon which is itself possibly
  dynamically-linked and which may do caching, and where the libc code
  talks to the daemon and has a local 'fallback' method.

  FWIW, some guys at RSU (the russian RSU, Rostov State University)
  claim to have some daemon code which puts us on the path towards
  exactly the above-described model.  This model does not require a
  dynamically-linked root.  I think that OS X does something along those
  lines, too.

One of the advantages of this approach is that you can do some interesting caching at this level. The disadvantage is that if this daemon dies, your box is dead in the water. Considering that this daemon would get more complicated with time (as you add more methods to authenticate), this could be worrisome. But, either can be made to work.

I guess I've never understood the resistance to making /bin and /sbin dynamic. It reminds me of the resistance that lots of people had to RCNG. I remember in NetBSD there was huge arguments about this. But once it was done, most people were happy with it. I think systems folks just love to argue (no lack of strong opinions on this side of the Internet).

Richard Coleman

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