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Re: Debian Configuration Packaging System

Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org> writes:
> Le dimanche 24 février 2008 à 19:46 -0800, Russ Allbery a écrit :

>> 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.

> This is really a bad idea, because you always end up modifying a
> debconf-managed file by hand. The solution to this problem is to use ucf
> instead.

Reading the ucf man page, I don't understand how it would help me for the
case of those two packages.  But I may be suffering from insufficient

The problem is this: both krb5-kdc and krb5-admin-server have /etc/default
files that control various aspects of the startup of the servers, such as
whether a krb524d is run and what level of Kerberos v4 support is enabled
in the KDC.  All of those parameters are prompted for by debconf if you
select "manage my configuration with Debconf" and a corresponding
/etc/default file is written out.  This lets people get the benefit of
translated prompts for the possible options.

However, people have also requested an escape hatch to pass arbitrary
options to the daemon without having to modify the init script, using the
semi-standard DAEMON_ARGS setting in the /etc/default file.

ucf, from its DESCRIPTION in its man page, seems to handle the case of
shipping a configuration file upstream that may also be locally modified,
but I don't see where it handles merging in the results of debconf
prompting.  Am I just missing something?

The approach taken right now is that the user chooses whether the file is
debconf-managed or not debconf-managed, and a comment at the top of the
file tells the user to pick.  Debconf-managed configuration seems to be
pretty common in Debian, although I know that some things that are common
still aren't good ideas and I'm happy to switch to something better.
(There are various bits of debconf cleanup in the krb5 packages that needs
to be done, so now's a good time to tell me how the whole thing *should*
work so that I can do it all at once.)

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

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