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Re: Creation of custom "configured" packages?

On Mon, May 15, 2006 at 09:49:00AM +0200, lists-debian@latendresse.de wrote:
> in case I am in the wrong list, I beg you pardon, but I asked this
> already in debian-user without success.

Custom *packages* is probably more on-topic for debian-mentors, but I don't
think that custom packages are the right solution.

> I would like to build customized, configured packages (for example
> additional bash script for the bash package, some default keybindings
> for screen, some host in /etc/ssh/known_hosts for ssh ... the list is
> endless), because maitainigs multiple systems becomes frustrating
> otherwise, if you maintain more than 2 computers (4 in my case).
> What would be the best (cleanest, most debian-like solution) be? I
> thought of "meta-packages" with pre-depends to the real packages and
> dpkg-divertions for the config files?

I don't think you can dpkg-divert conffiles, which makes it a bit tricky to
do that anyway.

The correct solution to your problem, I think, is a system management
application such as CFEngine or (my preferred option) Puppet.  These systems
allow you to specify rules which describe how your system is supposed to
look, and then the program does what's needed to make that happen.  You can
make classes, too, which are generic configuration fragments which you can
apply to a group of hosts -- a very powerful feature which allows you to
make the common config parts really common.

CFEngine is in Debian, but has some real nasty frustrations.  Puppet isn't
in Debian, but Jamie is working hard on the packages and I've got some
provisional ones built from his sources if you want to try it out.  Puppet
is fairly new on the scene, but is maturing fast, and has much less

- Matt

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