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[custom] Custom Debian Distros need the help from debian developers

It feels a bit counter-productive when we in the Skolelinux project
spend lots of time trying to convince Debian package maintainers to
add support for package configuration using pre-seeding of debconf
answers, and then experience that the next maintainer of the same
package consider this a waste and throw out the code.

As I believe this is an issuse for all custom debian distributions
(CDD), I bring it up here.  (More on CDD on

The issue provoking this email is the new ntp packages, removing the
code we got added to be able to install the package with correct
configuration.  But I suspect there is a broader issue here.  I
experence that some debian developers do not even understand the point
of making the package automatically configurable at install time using
debconf pre-seeding.

In Debian Edu, we believe debconf pre-seeding is the only sensible way
to do this in a way that all CDDs can benefit, and the only way that
is expected to avoid most upgrade problems.  The alternative is to
replace or edit other packages files, and this is error prone and hard
to do within the current policy.

I know Non-profit debian have similar needs, and I suspect most custom
debians need to do this as well.

What should we do to make sure all the packages we need to configure
at install time are configurable in a standardized way, preferably
using debconf preseeding?

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