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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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