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Re: [RFC] /var versus /srv



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On Wed, 26 Sep 2007 21:28:58 -0400
Jesse Keating <jkeating redhat com> wrote:

> On Wed, 26 Sep 2007 21:17:39 -0400
> Steve Grubb <sgrubb redhat com> wrote:
> 
> > AFAIK, selinux only knows about a couple servers, like apache,
> > having data in /srv. If SE Linux is going to protect the data, a
> > standard mapping between /srv and /var for everything should be
> > worked out so that policy can be adapted.
> 
> Therein lies the problem.  /srv/ is open ground for sysadmins to use,

And /var/ isn't "open ground"?  Perhaps it shouldn't be, but the reality of things today is that it's a jumbled, cluttered mess.  Sure, we've been using it this way for decades and are familiar with it.  The /srv/ directory is quite new by comparison.  As others have pointed out in this thread, a good number of real world sysadmins move things like web and ftp out of /var/ and/or create separate partitions/volumes to hold such content.

The /var/ directory has been the catch-all location whenever people didn't know where a more appropriate location could be found for something.  It's ugly and just because that's the way things have been forever doesn't mean it has to stay that way.

The /srv/ directory is a good solution for two primary reasons:

1.  Backups; just deal with /etc/ and /srv/ (and perhaps /home/ depending on the role of the box) if there's nothing left in /var/ that is non transitory.  Things like the RPM DB should be in /var/ and shouldn't be backed up.
2.  Organization.  The data your services are serving up is under /srv/, their configs are in /etc/ and you don't have to think about where to find stuff.

> we can't prepopulate it with anything,

Why not?  I have yet to see a single, viable argument on this list to explain why having /srv/web/ or /srv/ftp/ can't work as a starting point for a distribution nor for Fedora.  Don't get me wrong, there have been a few ideas put forth, but so far, none of them have held water.

> and we can't assume what the
> local admin will use for a scheme.  /srv/<site>/{web,ftp,backup}
> or /srv/{web,ftp,backup}/<site> or some other combo.

What does it matter?  If someone is going to change /var/www/ and /var/ftp/ and others to a per-site organization, they're already doing something different from what is default on any UNIX or UNIX-like OS that I know of.

Besides, SELinux won't care.  You simply assign the right types to the per-site www/, ftp/, etc. directories and it will just work.  Yes, I know, the parent directory structure will still have to allow those services to get there, too; again, if someone is reorganizing "against-the-grain," then they'll have to deal with that either way.
- -- 
Lamont Peterson <lamont gurulabs com>
Senior Instructor
Guru Labs, L.C. [ http://www.GuruLabs.com/ ]

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