dpkg urgent wishlist : Delayed Configuration override
I am maintaining a couple of systems that I can just reach via telnet.
Upgrading the system means that functionality is stopped in the unpacking
phase of dpkg and not enabled until the configuration phase. That might
take quite a while if a large number of packages is upgraded and can lead
to severe problems with an internet server.
If packages could be equipped with some sort of flag that would tell dpkg
that this critical package needs to be configured immediately then this
problem would be solved. Two variations come to my mind:
1. A package needs to be immediately configured after installation.
2. A package needs to be immediately configured if upgraded.
Packages using this flag should not have any user interaction in the
postinst script so that the upgrade process does not stop by dpkg invoking
the postinst script.
Typical candidates for such functionality are:
netbase Shutting down netbase means disabling inetd,portmapper!
No telnet access no ftp access during the dpkg session. If
something goes wrong your system is dead. If you are
across the country somewhere then good luck.
netstd Will stop routed and NFS. Loosing routed will shut your
server down after a few minutes because it wont be able
to route packages to you anymore.
nis Shutting down NIS will probably prevent anyone
from connecting to your systems. Having NIS down
for any extended amount of time is suicide for the
libreadline* For the hamm upgrade having an unconfigured readline
can make bash dysfunctional.
bash Is critical to the system. Anything that would prevent
from working for any time period must be avoided.
ldso must work at all times.
libraries It is unhealthy to have important libraries in a state
where important system software is not able to run because
it depends on those libraries.
Server daemons might use the flag to restart the daemons immediately after
an upgrade in order to minimize downtime. Upgrading an Internet Server
while it is running in full operation becomes a real possibility.
So far I have also upgraded my servers under full operation but I had to
do it piece by piece by running dpkg -i on single .debs.
The immediate configuration option might help the installation process to
be more robust and improve the overall reliability of the Debian
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