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Re: Disable ZeroConf: how to ?

On Thu, 3 Mar 2011 12:06:42 +0900, Norbert Preining <preining@logic.at> wrote:
> I don't need not want avahi, it actually two or three times broke 
> my network by doing changes to config file I don't want (don't remember
> the details) and at that time I could purge it away, but it came back
> again.

This is exactly my experience of avahi.

Clearly, this is the reason that people end up developing an irrational
hatred of avahi -- if there was anything about it that I wanted, then
I'd have decided to install it, and so if there were any issues with it,
it would be my fault for installing it, but since I'm not aware of ever
having needed it, and since I don't use gnome (although I occasionally
install gnome-ish things, which is probably the thing that drags it back
in again) it's always a surprise when I notice it on my machine, and of
course, it's always a nasty surprise, because when it's doing what it's
supposed to do I won't notice it, so the fact that I've noticed it means
that something has gone weird with my network (quite possibly unrelated
to avahi) and as a result avahi has allocated one of it's 169.254.*
addresses, which I never want it to do, so when I see them I blame the
unexpected network behaviour on avahi.

You might say that I should at that moment report a bug against avahi,
but of course in order to diagnose the network problem, I'm sure I don't
want what avahi's doing, so I get rid of it, and then I fix whatever the
problem really was, but am left with the suspicion that avahi was at
least partially to blame.

If the avahi developers want to attract less ire, they should provide us
with a way of saying that we don't want it.  If that causes things to
break, then that's fine as it will educate all of us avahi-haters to
understand the benefit that it provides.

I'm aware that I could do something similar to enricos-sanity, and
routinely install a dummy package that conflicts with avahi, but I had
rather hoped that this issue would at some point be resolved in standard
Debian by either reducing the number of packages that declare
dependencies/recommends against avahi, or that the avahi packages might
provide a debconf question about it, or some other way of declaring that
one doesn't want such stuff.

This is not avahi specific -- I have similar issues with resolvconf, on
the basis that whenever I notice it on any of my machines, it's because
it's applied one of it's simple-minded assumptions to a machine with a
complicated network setup, and thus broken things.  The difference is
that I've not noticed resolvconf sneaking back onto machines where I've
removed it.

Cheers, Phil.
|)|  Philip Hands [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]    http://www.hands.com/
|-|  HANDS.COM Ltd.                    http://www.uk.debian.org/
|(|  10 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, London  E18 1NE  ENGLAND

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