[Dnsmasq-discuss] Re: RFC: Split up the default configuration file

Simon Kelley simon at thekelleys.org.uk
Mon Nov 3 11:51:29 GMT 2008

Alex Kiernan wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 11:01 PM, Will Parsons <oudeis at nodomain.invalid> wrote:
>> Rune Kock wrote:
>>> I find that dnsmasq's configuration file can be somewhat intimidating
>>> for newbies.  There are quite a lot of options, but only a few of them
>>> are really needed for a typical newbie-setup.
>>> What about splitting the current dnsmasq.conf into 5 files:
>>> - dnsmasq.conf itself is primarily used to include the other conf-files.
>>> - dhcp-basic
>>> - dhcp-adv
>>> - dns-basic
>>> - dns-adv
>>> And then put the options that are typically only used by experts into
>>> the adv files.
>>> Obviously, this can only be done for new installations, upgrades must
>>> keep the existing file.
>>> If people find that this is a good idea, I could do the split up.
>>> Others will have to change the packaging for the distributions,
>>> though.
>> I found the dnsmasq.conf file perfectly fine when I when I started using
>> dnsmasq and think I would have found it far more confusing to have multiple
>> configuration files and had to figure what belongs where.  I'd prefer to
>> keep things the way they are.
> Couldn't agree more. Arbitrary splits just make figuring out where
> something goes a nightmare. Similarly documentation which is split
> into numerous pieces makes it hell on earth to try and find the thing
> you wanted (e.g. ISC DHCP).

It's not clear to me exactly what is being suggested here. For a complex 
and frequently altered configuration, it makes sense to split it up into 
different files, That's already supported with --conf-file and --conf-dir

If the  suggestion is to split up the _example_ configuration file 
distributed with dnsmasq, that does make things more difficult to find, 
but it also makes it easier to understand. There's a tension between 
including examples of every option in that file and making it something 
which a newbie can just edit and go.

Maybe the solution is to have two files, one which is simple, 
edit-and-go for common configurations, and one which contains examples 
of all the possible options.



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