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Re: Bug#482528: heimdal-clients,krb5-user

Michael Tautschnig <mt@debian.org> writes:

>> Can I please have some input into this bug report?
>> The report itself seems valid, ideally these packages shouldn't conflict.
>> Solving this in such a way as not to break lots of stuff could be  
>> awkward though.
>> Ideas?

Adding alternatives for kinit, klist, kdestroy, and kpasswd is I think an
obvious move and I'm happy to help do that on the MIT Kerberos side.

Using alternatives for kadmin is more problematic.

(BTW, Brian, this discussion reminds me that I'd like to use alternatives
for krb5.conf.5 so that krb5-doc and heimdal-doc don't need to conflict.
I'd like to have krb5-config provide a stub with a low priority and
krb5-doc and heimdal-doc both provide versions with a higher priority.)

> Are you guys really sure that alternatives are so misplaced here?
> - Both perform a similar function.
> - A user installing any of the alternatives providing kadmin will
> probably know what they are doing (at least so I guess); and (to be
> checked) using the wrong one will do no harm to the Kerberos database,
> it will just not work.

Historically, debian-devel and discussions elsewhere have said that
alternatives is not appropriate in this case.  The command line syntax is
completely different and the commands are completely different.  Any
script that uses kadmin as an interface will break if the alternative
doesn't point to the version that it expects.  That's a fairly serious

There are some differences in the syntax and flags of the other commands,
but it's more minor and won't affect most applications.

We can discuss it on debian-devel, though.  If the rest of the project
blesses the idea of using alternatives, I'm okay with it, although I think
it has some potential to really confuse things.  It would be easier if MIT
provided an exported API for kadmin, but since they don't, there are a
*lot* of scripts out there that use the kadmin client as an API.

> - update-alternatives --list editor     
> /bin/ed
> /bin/nano
> /usr/bin/vim.tiny
> /usr/bin/emacs21
> /usr/bin/vim.basic

editor and pager are special exceptions to the normal alternative rules
and are specifically documented in Policy.  Other programs have
historically not been allowed to use that sort of exception.

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

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