[Rpm-maint] RFC: SUSE/openSUSE's proposed relocation of /var/lib/rpm

Panu Matilainen pmatilai at redhat.com
Fri Oct 13 08:31:10 UTC 2017

On 10/12/2017 05:44 PM, Mark Hatle wrote:
> On 10/12/17 4:52 AM, Neal Gompa wrote:
>> On Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 11:25 AM, Richard Brown <rbrown at suse.de> wrote:
>>> What do you all think? And if a change like this is on the cards as an rpm default, where would the likely
>>> location be?
>> So, I think we should probably expose this as an configure switch, and
>> default to /var/lib/rpm. Most people have literally no reason to move
>> it. The switch would move the rpmdb to the alternate location of
>> /usr/lib/rpmdb (or whatever the agreed alternate path is).
>> This wouldn't really affect rpm-ostree, as they'd adjust the dbpath
>> the same way they've always done it. But for people changing the
>> system rpmdb location everywhere, the configure switch makes it clear
>> there's only two supported paths. It should be very clear that you're
>> on your own for anything else.
> I agree with this.  I see no compelling reason for my applications to move the
> location of the database from one version to another.
> Moving the DB will also complicated OS upgrades (package based) and other things.
> I don't object to be it being configurable, but I'd like the option to remain at
> the current location for as long as I and my customers need it there.

The database path has always been trivially configurable with a macro 
without having to patch rpm, nobody is taking that away. And because 
it's so trivial to change it really doesn't need a configure switch either.

It's also way, way early to discuss about changing defaults. For that, 
there needs to be at least
a) a viable new location (which is what I think this discussion is about)
b) a way to handle migration in a reasonably transparent manner
c) a reason with actual benefits to majority of users (that's what 
*defaults* are about)

For the time being, there's no benefit to moving things around for the 
vast majority of users, on the contrary it'd just cause a whole lot of 
pain with very little if any gain. Maybe that'll change some day, maybe 
some day most users will be on snapshotable setup (I wouldn't predict 
against that) or something like that.

So I don't see us changing the default anytime soon, but I think we all 
need to acknowledge the existence (and importance) of the snapshot case, 
we might need to do *something* to better support that.

	- Panu -

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