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Re: Debian Configuration Packaging System

Tim Abbott <tabbott@MIT.EDU> writes:
> On Sun, 24 Feb 2008, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> Configuration files generated by debconf may not be manually changed
>> without running this risk, including by humans.  Generally, this is
>> documented in the file.  I have several of those in packages I
>> maintain.  This is a pretty widely accepted way of dealing with
>> configuration files, and the right way to modify those files is with
>> debconf pre-seeding rather than by trying to overwrite the file, IMO.

> Many such files have configuration options other than those managed by
> debconf (/etc/krb5.conf would be a good example).  For those files,
> pre-seeding debconf doesn't suffice.

And krb5.conf is not a configuration file managed in the way that you
describe for exactly that reason.  It uses a conservative approach, only
installing a file based on debconf prompts if the file doesn't already
exist and otherwise trying to do automated updates of only the configured
data where applicable.  (You can also make the file a symlink to disable
all automated modification.)

The ones that are overwritten completely that I'm aware of contain only
settings managed by debconf, or (as is the case for krb5-kdc and
krb5-admin-server) explicitly ask whether you want to manage the
configuration file through debconf or want to manage it manually so that
you can set more obscure options.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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