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Configuration files are XML files that can be changed as needed.

Developers can put settings in configuration files, eliminating the need to recompile an application every time a setting changes.

This section describes what can be configured and why configuring an application might be useful.

For example, if you wanted Portage to automatically update your rc scripts and your wget configuration, but didn't want any other changes made without your explicit approval, you'd add this to /etc/make.conf: CONFIG_PROTECT_MASK="/etc/wget /etc/rc.d" Tools such as dispatch-conf, cfg-update, and etc-update are also avail‐ able to aid in the merging of these files.

They provide interactive merging and can auto-merge trivial changes.

For example, if you have a third-party component that both your client and server application uses, it is easier to put the settings for that component in one place.

In this case, the machine configuration file is the appropriate place for the settings, so you don't have the same settings in two different files.By default, config file protection is turned on for /etc and the KDE configuration dirs; more may be added in the future.When Portage installs a file into a protected directory tree like /etc, any existing files will not be overwritten.Directory exceptions to the CONFIG_PRO‐ TECTed directories can be specified using the CONFIG_PROTECT_MASK vari‐ able.To find files that need to be updated in /etc, type find /etc -iname ´._cfg???? You can disable this feature by setting CONFIG_PROTECT="-*" in /etc/While this may be a little bit untidy, it does prevent potentially valuable config files from being deleted, which is of paramount importance.

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