Default config file name 1.6 vs. 2.0

Ondrej Zajicek santiago at
Mon Jan 28 16:18:12 CET 2019

On Sat, Jan 26, 2019 at 02:55:29PM +0100, Eugene Crosser wrote:
> Hello,
> I would like to suggest to change the default name of the configuration file for
> bird version 2.0.


We noticed the issue when working on Debian packages for BIRD 2.0.
Renaming the config file in upstream is not a good idea, as some
distributions already have packages for BIRD 2.0, so that would
complicate life for them.

Debian BIRD package use /etc/bird/bird.conf instead of /etc/bird.conf (by
compile-time option), so it was suggested to use /etc/bird2/bird.conf for
BIRD 2.0, but i opposed to that on the grounds that long-term goal is to
abandon 1.6 branch and then rename bird2 package back to bird without
other user-visible disruptions (i.e. renaming config file or binaries

> The two bird versions cannot use the same file because of syntax change. And
> some of us distribute the file via configuration management tools (like ansible
> etc.). This makes upgrade path rather difficult and unnecessarily error-prone:
> you need to synchronize exchange of the version of the configuration file with
> upgrade (or downgrade! That can be necessary too!) of the bird package.
> Whereas if different versions used different files, you could distribute both
> files with you configuration management tool in advance, and then gradually
> upgrade the package, with easy rollback if things do not go well.

Well, workaround would be to have config files in separate files and
/etc/bird.conf just a symlink, which can be simply changed after package
upgrade / downgrade.

I would say that the cleanest solution would be to build BIRD 1.6 for
IPv4 with compile-time option --with-suffix=4, so it would be bird4,
birdc4, and bird4.conf, (that is how i used it personally, just for the
sake of symmetry with IPv6 version). But AFAIK distributions did not use
that and it is a bit late now to change that.

> Even if configuration management is not used, it is still more convenient to be
> able to start one or the other version of the daemon without the need to specify
> alternative configuration, or replacing the file.

Note that regardless of config files, binaries and init-files are also without
suffix, so bird and bird2 packages are conflicting.

Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo

Ondrej 'Santiago' Zajicek (email: santiago at
OpenPGP encrypted e-mails preferred (KeyID 0x11DEADC3,
"To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so."
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