Re: deprecating /usr as a standalone filesystem?
Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
A few side notes:
* everybody overlooked the subtle theoretical problem that our
maintainer scripts can potentially do *everything* on the file
system and *everywhere*, and that they are written in a Turing
complete language (shell script). This means that you cannot, in the
general case discover what they have touched. As a consequence you
can not simply rely on the dpkg database to know what you have to
But package installation is nullpotent. You can install again
on every system. You still have one /usr, but right data in other
Is it so important a consistent database? Things will still work.
Remember that our policy require not to hardcore paths, so that
a sysadmin can overwrite program using /usr/local.
This means indirectly that what it is in database and what
it is installed doesn't need to be consistent with
what it is really used.
And I don't understand why the dpkg database MUST be accurate.
dpkg is smart enough to do the right things anyways.
The trick of fiddling the dpkg database on the client machine and
then run "dpkg --configure -a" there is indeed nice. But again,
requesting our users to do that, potentially messing up with the
dpkg database, is IMO not something we can call being properly
supported in Debian. If it is supposed to work that way, we have to
provide higher level tools that do that for our users.
I agree that we must not support (helping users) such systems (but
usually they have good sysadmins), but I find stupid to make life harder
to such sysadmins.