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Re: Is there a way to positively, uniquely identify which Debian release a program is running on?

On Sun, 2007-06-03 at 23:16 +0200, Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 01, 2007 at 07:14:16PM +0200, Santiago Vila wrote:
> > On Fri, 1 Jun 2007, Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña wrote:
> > > We are not telling the user, we are telling *programs* what environment they
> > > are in.
> > 
> > That's the fundamental mistake I see here: We should not be telling
> > programs what "release" they are running to begin with. We do not try
> > to make packages to work under the assumption that they will run
> > "on a sarge system" or "an etch system". Instead, we try to make them work
> > as far as their dependencies are met.
> Since when do programs == package? You don't seem to understand that I'm
> talking in a generic way about software. Actually, I'm mainly talking about
> software which is *not* part of the package management system [1]. I agree
> with you that packages *in* Debian should not use /etc/debian_version or
> lsb_release, but what of software (not packages) *outside* Debian.
> Think about Enterprise (non-free) software like Oracle, HP Openview, Tivoli,
> Remedy... Do you expect vendors of this software to understand^Wimplement
> package management based dependencies for *all* Linux distributions?
> LSB tries to simplify the Linux environment for such software. Lsb_release
> is defined as the an answer to the question "which distribution am I running
> in and which release is it?"

LSB tries to simplify the Linux environment by allowing independent
software vendors to specify dependency on standardised features (LSB-foo
version x.y) and not on particular releases or packages within them.

However, if one wants technical support from an ISV, it is probably
necessary to install a specific stable release and to avoid using
packages from a mixture of releases (or backports).  In this case,
lsb_release will provide correct information.  In other cases there's no
right answer.


Ben Hutchings
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
                                                               - John Lennon

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