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Daemons: to start, or not to start? It's easy to let root choose

(Cc's to private addresses removed. I don't know if this is relevant
for -policy, please remove it in replies if it isn't.)

John Goerzen <jgoerzen@complete.org>:
> No, this is silly.  When you install a package, it is for use.  If you 
> don't intend to use it, why install it?

Because I like to use mtools, have been using it for years, and suddenly
it starts running a daemon without my knowing it, since I happened not
to read that particular changelog among the thousands when upgrading
from a previous version of Debian?

Actually, I don't use mtools, but it was just reported on this list that
it did, in fact, run such a daemon. The point is, even if I'm careful, I
might accidentally install or upgrade a package that runs a daemon, and it
would be extremely nice if Debian had tools for making sure I notice them.

(I didn't know Gnome runs some name service daemon until recently.
Did you?)

That doesn't involve asking lots of questions in postinsts every time
I run dpkg. Unless implemented badly, it involves one question per
installation of a new daemon -- upgrades should notice the question has
already been asked and re-use the answer. If we want to reduce this
further, we can even implement a scheme where the answer can be set
globally to "always install new daemons" or "never install new daemons".
(E.g., every package that installs a daemon checks /etc/start_new_daemons
for the answer. debconf probably does this better.)

Since this _can_ be done without being too painful for any party, and it
_is_ something many people would like to have, is there really a reason
to write dozens and dozens of flame letters about it, telling people
it's not at all useful for anyone, any purpose, any time, ever?

Stupid little mailer under construction, sorry for any problems.

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