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Re: System users: removing them

]] Lars Wirzenius 


| I think this would be a good point to have a discussion and set policy
| on how to deal with this. The policy manual seems to currently be silent
| about removing users created by the package at installation time.
|       * We can decide that packages may not remove the accounts they
|         create, ever. In that case, we should amend Policy to say this
|         explicitly, do an MBF on the packages in the deluser.list above,
|         and add a lintian warning against calling deluser in maintainer
|         scripts.

I think never deleting is the most sensible solution, the reasoning

- UIDs are a cheap resource (we can use 32 bit uids nowadays), the
  overhead in /etc/passwd and friends is neglible.
- Most or all system accounts are locked and unable to be used for
  login.  Perhaps policy should say that user accounts belonging to a
  package must be locked when the package is removed?
- The possible downside of reusing a UID is real.
- Giving the admin a way to set policy to delete users means we have
  more code paths to test, meaning the likehood of bugs popping up

The same argument applies for system gids and groups, btw.

Tollef Fog Heen
UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are

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