Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ideas on maintaining a customized shell environment

Nick Anderson posted an entry today about using a script to customize your home directory.

This is a cool idea. Legooolas took it to the logical conclusion in the comments by suggesting revision control on a centralized server to check in/out your directory.

I like it. I don't think I could really use it, though. My home directory tends to get pretty trashed up. All of the packages I download to play with get thrown there, I don't take the time to clean up all of the things I install from source, and really, it's pretty big at the moment. Somewhere like 10GB if I run du from /home.

The answer we use for our users in the enterprise environment is to have NFS exported home directories. We have a separate fileshare on the fileservers which is mapped to /usr2. It's exported to all of the machines into which users can login. This works nicely since we're on a secured Gb network. Exporting your home directory over NFS on the internet would be...ill advised. CIFS might work a little better, but most people don't have that sort of need across the internet. For the people that do, I'm guessing that subversion would be their best bet, assuming they don't have tons and tons of files to check in/out.