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Re: /etc/mailname

Previously, this thread read:

> > > > > I can't find which package is responsible for this file :
> > > > >
> > > > > /etc# dpkg -S mailname
> > > > > dpkg: *mailname* not found.
> > > >
> > > > There is not a single package which is the only responsible for
> > > > it

To which, christophe barbé added:

> > > Ok So as I understand it, this file should be owned by the
> > > MTA.  It is disapointed to see a file in /etc owned by nobody,
> > > especially for one so much used.

Josip Rodin asked:

> > What is it with "owning stuff"? Why are you so attached to dpkg -S
> > working?  Nobody ever said all files must be known to dpkg -S.

Tomas Pospisek replied:

> Which doesn't mean that it wouldn't be useful if it were so [except
> where it doesn't make sense of course].

Usefulness must be balanced with practicality.  When considering a
configuration file that is used by a library, which is used by several
applications, it makes sense that the configuration file is owned by
the package containing the library.  To add an entire package for a
lone configuration file, simply so that "dpkg -S" returns a result, is

Making a file such as this a conffile means that one package now owns
the file, and thus, no other package can modify it in its packaging

Finally, christophe barbé wrote:

> Because I had in mind that on a debian system all files (except users
> one) come with a package.

Well, as you have discovered, you were incorrect.  Don't worry, it is a
common misconception.

> A few upgrades ago this file was changed and broke 'bug' and other and
> It was not clear to me who was responsible for that.  there's no man
> for this file so I logically go for the doc in the associated
> package. ...

Please note that "dpkg -S" is not documentation, and this is not a
documentation issue.  If you feel that documentation is lacking, then
you should write a man page for the file.  Don't make a separate package
for it, however.  (Again, that would be silly.)  Instead, new pages such
as this should be added to an existing package, such as "manpages",
where they can be maintained as a group.

> I would said : what is it with "NOT owning stuff"? Why not a package
> like the proposed mta-common ?

Why not?  Because it is not necessary.  I have already addressed the
problems with ownership above.

- Brian

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