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Re: Enabling package installation for non-root users

On Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:32:18 +0100
John Paul Adrian Glaubitz <glaubitz@physik.fu-berlin.de> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm looking for a way to enable non-root users to install packages on
> their local machines, but not removing/purging them.

At which point, you lose anyway because sometimes package installation
*requires* removal of another package. Plus the type of package has to
be considered - if someone chooses to install a different web server
package or a different MTA or kernel, things could become complicated.

You could avoid those problems by only having a partial local mirror of
"allowed" packages and prevent changes to other packages (because
the other packages are not listed) unless an admin moves an inactive
sources.list into place. That then complicates automatic admin updates
and adds another admin task, plus if someone does an autoremove
before adding the full source list back ... generally that's a world of
pain too.

BTW: you don't actually need root to download and unpack packages -
just as long as you unpack to an unprivileged path, it's just that this
a whole different world of pain which is primarily to support chroots
and rootfs creation etc.

What are you trying to allow / prevent?

If you want packages to behave normally, you need to install them

Anything else is just making the systems harder to administrate.


Neil Williams

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