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Re: transitioning config files between two packages

Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> wrote:

> So to fix this within your preinst, you could check whether each file's
> md5sum matches the known md5sum from sarge, and if so remove the file.  If
> the md5sum /doesn't/ match, the conffile prompt should happen as normal.

The conffile present might also be yet a different one, from a version
earlier in etch's release cycle.  At least if the package splitting has
just been done in the last version in unstable, it's likely that there
are machines around with such versions installed.  Of course it's much
more important to not give dpkg prompts on dist-upgrades from stable to
new stable, but IMHO it should also be avoided during a development
cycle:  Many people use sid or testing for their workstations, although
they don't know much about internals and what triggers bogus prompts.

Ah, and I forgot:  Even oldstable deserves its md5sums to be recorded.
This has bitten us with tetex-extra:  People had tetex-extra installed
when the machine was woody, then removed it but did not purge - so the
conffiles were still there.  Only after switching to etch did they
reinstall the package, and...  The result can be "admired" in
/var/lib/dpkg/info/tetex-extra.preinst, look for ".*_md5sum_list".  We
didn't use ucf because these files all disappeared.

> It's up to you whether you think ucf is a better way to handle this.

At least it is able to record a set of md5sums for a given file.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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