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Re: Conffiles

Josh Triplett <josh@joshtriplett.org> writes:
> Enrico Weigelt wrote:

>> I have a general objection against putting (default) configs outside
>> /etc at all. The main problem is, on updates, defaults might silently
>> change, without operators used to look at /etc and comparing current
>> config with new defaults.

> By default, dpkg will silently upgrade unmodified conffiles to the
> current version, without prompting the user at all.  If you've modified
> the conffile, dpkg will prompt you to find out if you want to keep your
> modified version, upgrade to the new upstream version, see a diff, or
> run a shell; dpkg will default to keeping your modified version.

> So, unless you've changed a configuration file, you already won't get a
> prompt on configuration upgrades.

But right now with configuration in /etc if you have changed *any*
configuration setting, you then get prompted for *all* configuration
changes in the package, which I think is Enrico's point.  And I agree, I
kind of like that behavior.  Configuration settings can interact in
unexpected ways, so if I've had to customize the configuration, I kind of
like knowing when other defaults change.  They may affect the thing I had
to customize.

> If the configuration upgrade might matter to sysadmins, the Debian
> package should provide an upgrade note in NEWS.Debian, or upstream
> should provide a note in NEWS (which I wish apt-listchanges could show,
> at least when it follows a standard format).

Upstream's NEWS generally has *way* too much noise to expect people to
look at it by default.  NEWS.Debian isn't a horrible solution, but it
doesn't provide a way of saying "no, don't apply this change but still
continue with the package installation," which I think you need for
configuration files.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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