[nycbug-talk] fave BSD tips/tricks?

Miles Nordin carton at Ivy.NET
Mon Aug 24 18:46:57 EDT 2009

    gr> how about a tip on NOT including the email address of the
    gr> person you're replying to. . .why feed those spam spiders?

I am on about 30 active lists and have not encountered this idea of
etiquette anywhere else.  Email etiquette is extremely slow to change
so it will be hard for you to win this on any large scale.  IMHO I
think you should fix your list archives if you care: either fuzz the
<[^> \t]*@[^> \t]*> pattern, or make the archives members-only.  I
don't mind leaving out your address that much, but I'm not going to
change the quote header that's accepted on 29/30 lists, especially
when it supplies useful information, and I'm unlikely to remember to
customize yours manually a month from now.  I think there is some way
I can have different settings for different lists, but it'd probably
take me 2 or 3 hours to figure out which is longer than it takes to
argue with you, so long as I believe I'm right, which I do: same
address since 1995, never pester my friends with jumping through spam
hoops (which I view as a form of backscatter), and my inbox is still

    gr> mtr, eg, needs some xorg libraries, but it's really about if
    gr> there's a choice.

I think it's better for avoiding regressions to build everything the
same way, in particular ``hidden dependency'' regressions, and gains
basically nothing of practical value to leave X out, and I actually do
use X11 programs remotely over 'ssh -o forwardx11=yes -o
forwardx11trusted=yes' somewhat often.  

For example, I have a simple BSD box acting as a firewall with not too
many daemons running on it: ssh into the box, then ssh further into
something protected.  If you do not build X11 into the base
distribution, then ssh will not forward X11, so not only you cannot
use X11 on the firewall ``server'' but you can't on any machine behind
the firewall either, and you have to try, fail, go through all kinds
of gyrations to get the job done.

A lot of sysadmins seem to think they're more ``secure'' by leaving
stuff out of their userland which I think is wrong, or else it's just
some OCD/NIH/bikeshed behavior like espresso brewing or car audio.

It's just annoying when basic unix things like apropos, xcalc, or
emacs are missing.  Unix has become a single-user platform.  Working
on something after some sysadmin has come in to delete eevrything he
doesn't use is like a cluttered house full of unruly children: every
time you try to do something you trip over some garbage and have to
find another way, and eventually get three or four prerequisites deep
in solving the original problem and forget what you originally wanted
to do.  It's extremely frustrating and entirely avoidable.  At the
very least I wish people would include whatever comes in Mac OS X or
on an Ubuntu livecd, and even put some effort into not leaving out
things others are likely to want, while around nycbug it seems like
everyone applies their effort in just the opposite direction, swapping
tips on how to ``minimize their installz''.
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