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Re: idea: unclear purge cleanup package

On Thu, Dec 26, 2002 at 10:09:23PM -0500, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 19, 2002 at 08:29:14PM -0500, Joey Hess wrote:
> > I was wandering around in /etc on a system and found quite a few relics
> > of old postrm's gone bad. Broken /etc/alternitives links, dangling
> > symlinks in directories that nothing owned, etc. The annoying thing was
> > I know what packages were at fault, but they were all long ago purged
> > from the system, and their broken postrm scripts left this stuff behind.
> On a related note, I suspect there are a lot of broken postrm scripts still
> lying in wait on Debian systems, where old (and/or buggy) packages have been
> removed but not purged, and their postrm will interact in bad ways with the
> currently installed packages.  This is especially tricky when postrms remove
> config files, drop databases, and other potentially destructive things.

I ran into this not long ago. A recent 'apt-get dist-upgrade' caused the
ancient packages 'modules' to be removed, which failed. modules' postrm
tried to run update-rc.d to remove the symlink for kerneld, but
/etc/init.d/kerneld still existed (but did not belong to any package
according to dpkg), so update-rc.d refused.

There was also a problem purging some old linux gazette packages; the
postrm called a command 'mk_jindex' or similar which didn't exist.
(Actually I couldn't find any evidence that it ever existed.)

Of course you can work around these things by editing the postrm scripts
yourself, but we shouldn't expect the average Debian user to know the
internals of our packaging system.

Hamish Moffatt VK3SB <hamish@debian.org> <hamish@cloud.net.au>

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