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10.6: Enable native NTFS read/write support
Authored by: corienti on Oct 04, '09 02:35:49PM

You more accurately should have said:

"If you prefer to take a safer route with editing fstab, use vifs. It is easy to make a mistake editing fstab by hand and can cause significant problems, so if you are not familiar with it, you should probably use vifs"

or something to that effect.

Using nano (or better, vi) (regular vi or vim, that is) to edit fstab is perfectly safe if you know what you are doing.

A blanket "using nano to edit fstab is not safe" is not correct. It is only unsafe if you don't know what you are doing.

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10.6: Enable native NTFS read/write support
Authored by: Anonymous on Oct 05, '09 04:22:56PM
Thanks for really confusing the issue!

The original comment is correct: You should only ever use vifs to edit /etc/fstab. This is because vifs includes some file-locking functionality to prevent simultaneous edits.

...but you can have your cake and eat it. Simply set export EDITOR=nano beforehand. Put that it in your .bashrc for added delight.

There. You both happy now? :-P

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10.6: Enable native NTFS read/write support
Authored by: corienti on Oct 08, '09 01:38:45AM

I didn't know about the locking - that is interesting.

I still disagree however. How many people besides me are ever going to be logged into my machine as root and updating fstab at the same time? I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader. Hint: the total number of people including me is less than two.

I grew up on Solaris (and I'm not as old as you think; I only started when Solaris 9 was around). There is no vifs on Solaris. Not even in Solaris 10.
NB fstab on Solaris is called vfstab.

Even on my servers at work (there have many), which are a mix of Solaris, RHEL (Linux), and OpenBSD... how many people are ever going to be updating fstab/vfstab simultaneously on the same server? Same answer.

However do people avoid this terrible risk of locking contention of multiple people updating fstab/vfstab at the same time??
It doesn't happen.

Don't worry though, nobody's confused here! I'm not going to start doing something totally and utterly unnecessary like using a custom tool to update fstab, when a regular text editor is 100% sufficient and perfect for the job.
And for anyone who's familiar with what they're doing, I'd personally recommend not bothering with a custom and unnecessary tool like vifs. Whatever will they do when they get on a server that doesn't have vifs at all, like Solaris? They won't ever be able to update vfstab!

Interesting about the locking feature though, I do admit. Entirely superfluous of course, but interesting nonetheless.

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