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enable/disable support in /usr/sbin/service

On Wed, Mar 02, 2011 at 11:54:05AM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> At present there *is* no reliable sysadmin interface for enabling/disabling
> services.  update-rc.d is not it; many admins have been using 'update-rc.d
> -f remove' for years, but this is /wrong/ and it is /documented/ that this
> will cause the links to be readded on package upgrade.  policy-rc.d is not
> it; the spec for this is bloated and I've never heard of an admin who's ever
> bothered implementing anything more than a "don't start any services in a
> chroot" policy using this.  And /etc/default/* isn't it; no consistent
> variable naming, not implemented for all services (and shouldn't be), so
> it's not scriptable, so it requires vi.
> So the mv command above *is* the current method.  And we're in desperate
> need of a better one.

Right, this is the technical problem to solve: find one (handy) method
to enable/disable services and "bless" it as the recommended one.

There seems to be a bug report against sysvinit-utils (that package
which ships /usr/sbin/service) about this already: #545325. I'm cc-ing
the bug log with this mail. For the bug log reference, this discussion
started on -devel at

Assuming a kind soul devises a patch for #545325, which shouldn't be
*that* hard, would that be enough to fix the general problem or would we
need something else in addition? (beside documentation, of course)

In particular, considering the possibility of other init systems coming
(see #591791), would /usr/sbin/service enable/disable still be a proper,
init-system-independent, abstraction?


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Quando anche i santi ti voltano le spalle, |  .  |. I've fans everywhere
ti resta John Fante -- V. Capossela .......| ..: |.......... -- C. Adams

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