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Bug#766459: debootstrap/base-passwd: #767999 and #766459 should really be fixed in base-passwd

On Thu, Nov 06, 2014 at 02:06:07PM +0000, Michael Tautschnig wrote:
> At least Santiago's and my opinion diverge on whether base-passwd is presently
> in line with policy on 3.8 Essential packages. Therefore the route from here
> appears to hinge on interpreting policy in one of two ways: my point is that
> base-passwd, at present, is not providing its functionality after just being
> unpacked - it does require postinst having been run. Santiago claims, if I
> interpret this correctly, that every package has to be configured at least once
> before being useful at all (irrespective of whether it is essential or not).

On the one hand, I agree with Santiago's policy interpretation here, and
have long maintained this in pretty much the same terms.  I have always
read that policy directive as being for the purpose of requiring
Essential packages to behave safely during upgrades so that the problem
of upgrading entire systems is tractable.

That said, I don't particularly feel the need to stand on a precise
interpretation here, and it's true that this problem can be dealt with
easily enough in base-passwd.  Michael's patch is textually longer than
a debootstrap change, it's true, but it doesn't introduce any particular
maintenance burden, and it weakens the constraints on configuring the
Essential set correctly, which is something I'm generally in favour of.
I've therefore gone ahead and uploaded this base-passwd change (after
local testing):

base-passwd (3.5.37) unstable; urgency=medium

  * Debconf translations:
    - Dutch (thanks, Frans Spiesschaert; closes: #765361).
    - Danish (thanks, Joe Hansen; closes: #765853).
  * Copy /etc/passwd and /etc/group from the master files in the preinst on
    initial install, to be more tolerant of bootstrapping tools that
    configure the Essential set in slightly different orders (based on a
    patch from Michael Tautschnig; see #766459 and #767999).

 -- Colin Watson <cjwatson@debian.org>  Fri, 07 Nov 2014 15:44:29 +0000

This doesn't preclude fixing this in depth in other ways (e.g. a
debootstrap change in stable), so I'm not closing these bugs.  I'll
leave it to others to decide when/whether to do that.

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]

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