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Re: dpkg-nondebbin and improper system installation

   A number of people have attempted or succeeded in using
   dpkg-nondebbin or a dpkg compiled on their local systems to install
   Debian without using the bootstrap floppies. As far as I am aware,
   this will yield a system that is broken in various ways (non-debian
   files in the system directories, things not configured, etc.). At
   the very least we should discourage this procedure.

I'm just catching up on my email, but I might not be able to get all
the way caught up today.  So, I'm going to reply to this one without
catching up on the discussion:

What I hope to enable is a mechanism to migrate existing systems to
debian systems.  This is not (and cannot) be an automatic procedure.
But, that doesn't mean we can't build tools for the migration.

In particular, I'd like to have a routine which looks for certain
signatures of a debian system and recommends action based on what it
(doesn't) find.

As a first step, I guess I'd look for the /var/lib/dpkg/{*,*/*} files
that should be present on a debian system, and recommend that the
requisite base packages be installed if they're missing.  [With,
presumably, big warnings that this will involve manual configuration
work on the part of the installer, and it would be much cleaner and
easier to start afresh.]


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