RFC: update-alternatives

Charles Wilson cygwin@cwilson.fastmail.fm
Sun Jun 19 19:33:00 GMT 2005

Christopher Faylor wrote:
> My only concern is that update-alternatives in any incarnation might cause
> confusion for cygwin users, especially for something like /bin/sh, since
> it, AFAIK, relies on symlinks.  That means that /bin/sh won't be runnable
> from the Windows command prompt.

Good point.

> I don't know any way around this other than to make actual copies of the
> file or maybe make hard links where appropriate.  Do any of the proposed
> packages deal use copies or hard links already?

No, they all use symlinks (the ALT-Linux version MIGHT allow one to 
specify a "copy policy" for the 'link' in /etc/alternatives/, but the 
link in /bin will still be symbolic.  I think.

I guess this means that regardless, /bin/sh is NOT a good candidate for 
an "alternatives-like" system.  But surely others are, like the myriad 
automakes, and "generic" services like /usr/bin/editor, emacs-vs-xemacs, 
/usr/bin/mail-transfer-agent, etc.


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