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Re: enable/disable flags in /etc/default

Stig Sandbeck Mathisen wrote:
> Currently, our packaged services start automatically, unless explicitly
> disabled in /etc/default/<service>, or by missing configuration. 

Having daemons started automatically at installation time is a very
nice feature of Debian IMNHO.  And by comparison it really annoys me
when I install a daemon expecting it to be running afterward and find
that I have to jump through a lot of hoops in order to get it to
start.  I rarely install something I don't want installed.

> Compare this to the policy of RHEL, which does not enable or start its
> services on package install.
> A RHEL service can be started manually, but will not be started at
> system boot unless explicitly configured to do so with "chkconfig".

Red Hat is a different environment and has different issues and
therefore they have produced a different solution.  I don't think this
should translate directly to Debian because Debian is quite different
(and better) than Red Hat in this area.

On Red Hat systems it is long standing practice to install everything
possible at initial system installation time.  This leads to a unique
problem on RH that doesn't exist for Debian and therefore a different
solution for RH that may not apply to Debian.

For example this means that on RHEL both Postfix and Sendmail are both
installed at the same time out of the box.  This leads to three (at
least) cases.  1) Admin wants Postfix running.  2) Admin wants
Sendmail running.  3) Admin wants neither running.

To address this issue neither daemon is started by default and
'chkconfig' is used to enable the desired one, after having configured
the desired one using 'update-alternatives mta' first.

Example for setting up Postfix on RHEL:

  ... No need to install postfix since it is already installed. ...
  # service sendmail stop
  # chkconfig --del sendmail
  # alternatives --set mta /usr/sbin/sendmail.postfix
  # checkconfig postfix on
  # service postfix start

Example for setting up Postfix on Debian:

  # apt-get install postfix


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