hidden directories under /etc/

Alan Bateman Alan.Bateman at oracle.com
Fri Sep 30 12:24:54 UTC 2011

Omair Majid wrote:
> Yes, I am a little afraid of the disruption too, which is why I 
> proposed it for jdk8, not for a 7 update.
> That said, I think these directories should be visible by default. We 
> are storing preferences in it and hiding the directory from the 
> sysadmin serves no purpose. In fact, programs like rkhunter tend to 
> flag them as suspicious [1].
I agree that /etc/.java looks suspicious but I'm not sure if it's worth 
the potential disruption. I guess we could consider supporting two 
locations. If the new location exists then we use it; if only the old 
location exists then use that. That would at least ensure that existing 
system preferences wouldn't get lost when you move to jdk8 and it would 
mean that over time that system preferences would be stored in the new 
location. This approach would of course run into problems if there were 
a mix of jdk versions on a system -- ie: run something with jdk8 on a 
new system and it stores the preferences in the new location. Run it 
again with jdk7 or older and it will appear that the preferences have 
been lost. That said, I believe that the intention with preferences is 
that the format could evolve over time and so having a older jdk read or 
update the system preferences that were created by a newer jdk might not 
be a big concern.

I would be more cautious with user preferences as my guess is that they 
are used more than system preferences (because system preferences need 
privileges to create). I also think that ~/.java/.systemPrefs isn't a 
major concern (unlike /etc/.java).


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