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

Rune Kock rune.kock at gmail.com
Fri Nov 7 21:29:03 GMT 2008

[once more for the list...]

On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 12:51, Simon Kelley <simon at thekelleys.org.uk> wrote:
> 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.

Yes, I was thinking about the example configuration file when I wrote
the original post.

> 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.

So the simple one would be installed by default, and the complex one
put in an example directory?

Unsure about this.  Personally, I rarely look at the example
directories.  If other people are the same, then the complex one might
be largely ignored, which would be too bad as it contains such a lot
of useful information.  At least, the simple file would need a pointer
to lead people to the complex one.

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