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Non-interactive install proposal

   I was reading an rpm vs. dpkg, interactive vs non-interactive thread on
debian-private (?) when I had the following idea.

  What happens to a typical postinst script if you kill it when it tries to
read from stdin?

   apt, dselect, or dpkg could have a non-interactive mode. When attempting
to install non-interactively, all postinst scripts are run with either
/dev/null or a pipe on stdin.  If the postinst attempts to read from stdin,
the install utility kills it.  This would leave the package in an
unconfigured state for later interactive configuration.
   Out of 433 packages installed on my local system, only 45 have "read" in
the postinst script.  None of the examples I looked at appeared to need any
changes to support kill-on-read, the package would just be left
unconfigured.  Many of the reads are optional, and not issued on upgrade. 
It should be much simpler to add one feature to dpkg than to learn, write,
test, and debug 45-2000 new linuxconf install scripts.
install-mime and config-file handling would probably also need some changes.

Dr. Drake Diedrich, Research Officer - Computing, (02)6279-8302
John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University 0200
Replies to other than Drake.Diedrich@anu.edu.au will be routed off-planet

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