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Re: Bug#201023: dosemu: purging doesmu wipes out all user data under /var/lib/dosemu)

Emile van Bergen <emile-deb@evbergen.xs4all.nl> writes:

> Hi,
> On Tue, Jul 15, 2003 at 07:23:43AM +1000, Herbert Xu wrote:
>> Roger Leigh <roger@whinlatter.uklinux.net> wrote:
>> > 
>> >> This is a directory owned by the dosemu package and it will ensure its
>> >> removal upon purging.
>> > 
>> > Why?  Just let dpkg remove the conffiles and, if you really must, do
>> > something *non-destructive* like:
>> dpkg --purge is defined as an operation which removes all traces of a
>> package.  When you do that, you are taking the responsibility to ensure
>> that you have no files under any directories solely owned by that package
>> that you wish to keep.
>> Never use purge unless you're sure that you have no data that you wish
>> to keep that is still left under the package's directories.  There is a
>> reason why frontend's never select the purge option for you automatically.
> Sorry for following up twice, but there is another argument why this
> behaviour of --purge is wrong, which is about usefulness.
> Basically, there are three categories of files:
> 1. dpkg -L
> 2. conffiles 
> 3. user data created using the package

There's also a fourth category: data generated automatically by the
package.  I'm thinking here of cached manpages, TeX bitmap fonts and
other data generated by the package during its normal operation.  I
would be perfectly happy for these to be purged, since they will be
regenerated as needed.

There's also stored/generated data that is wanted by users, which
should be retained.  For example, cron jobs, mail, news.

I would rather packages were conservative, and if there is any doubt
about whether a user would need the data after purging, it should be
left.  It's easier to manually delete something than lose your work.

I can see that it is good to be "tidy" and clean up after yourself,
but it should only be the package-related data, not user data.  rm -rf
might be useful in other cases, but for dosemu there is a very high
likelihood that user data will be present.  I have the expectation
that I should be able to purge and reinstall a package without my data
being blown away--I expected dosemu to remove its own files but leave
the directory intact.

Roger Leigh

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