Re: Bits from the release team: the plans for etch
On 26/10/2005 Andreas Barth wrote:
> * Humberto Massa (firstname.lastname@example.org) [051026 18:34]:
> > in my workstation I try out a new package (for scientfic computing, a
> > game for Lucas, a new development package) at least once each two days,
> > and a lot of times they come with their libs and their daemons -- and
> > their users. So I see them, and think "oh, no, this is not what I
> > thought it would be", and --purge them. And the daemons' users pile up
> > in /etc/passwd.
> well, perhaps take it as administrators job to clean up /etc/passwd from
> time to time if you install that many packages (because you as
> administrator know which users were co-used with someone else, and which
> not). But this is definitly not the most common scenario.
this may be valid for servers with real sysadmins who have an overview
over packages, users, etc. installed on the system.
for desktop systems where no system 'administrator' exists, for example
because nobody has the knowledge to understand /etc/passwd, it is not
the argument could be used for everything, and we would not need quality
checks as piuparts at all, as everything that packages leave on the
system, could be defined as 'administrators job'.
but we try to make packages better for our users, and one issue in doing
so is dealing with system accounts.
if a package creates a system user who is intended to be used by the
package only, the package should remove the user at purge time. if the
administrator uses the system user for other tasks, it's his/her
decision, and dealing with the situation is 'administrators job'.
the current thread shows, that both opinions exist and that both
situations need to be supported. therefore i suggest to add a debconf
question to adduser, to ask the local sysadmin for his/her preference.