[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Starting services automatically after install

Hi Phil,

On Fri, Jun 01, 2012 at 07:49:03PM +0100, Philip Hands wrote:
> The Debian approach has always been to not install anything that you
> don't intend to use.

I have brought up this topic in the past, too. Summary: I often do want
the Debian-packaged software on my systems, but use it entirely
differently from what the package maintainer had in mind when he created
the package. Eg. restring services to certain IPs, configure ACLs,
change locations, running not under init but runit instead, whatever.

> It is also to ensure that if you do choose to
> install something, it should be doing something useful by the end of the
> install (if possible, security considerations allowing).

I can actually do that. Please note that this problem only ever affects
services, and the person who is going to run a service will have to do
one additional action if the service is not being started right away
(start it if he is satisfied with the default configuration), whereas
everyone with different requirements, and it's very easy to run into
such a situation, will have to scramble to avoid doing that. Makes
unattended operations more difficult, imho.

> the user for configuration questions -- RedHat just want the software to
> install, whereas Debian wants it to be useful, so may need to ask
> questions.

The package maintainer can do only so much to make a package "useful
right away", and certainly not cover many interesting cases from the
real world, due to lack of time, or also imagination, or expertise.

> Both approaches are valid, and are mostly a matter of taste.  If you
> are using a distribution that uses one assumption, it's not useful to
> start introducing packages that work on the opposite assumption.

I was never under the assumption that it was Debian's policy that made
the system this way, but only the superiour packaging system that
enables this kind of configuration to be done at package-install-time.
And what if you had set the debconf value for the user interface to
"noninteractive"? Start the service, anyway?

It's just safer to not start the service immediately after installation.

Eg. when I recently installed some nova* packages on one system, they
destroyed that system because of missing/wrong configuration and the
unability to cope with the situation they found, but nevertheless
cheerfully started immediately, anyway, with no way for me to anticipate
and/or prevent that situation... major bummer (I'm just recovering from

> If you don't like the assumptions, you are much better off switching to
> a distribution that you prefer, rather than trying to persuade the
> overwhelming majority of the people that like the current assumptions,
> and use Debian because of those assumptions, that they should change
> their minds because they are supposedly wrong for liking it that way.

These are *quite* strong words, imho.

Whoever wasn't aware of these assumtions, or doesn't have a dedicated
opinion, would probably object to being pocketed like this. I also think
that there are more, other reasons for choosing Debian, not only this

Kind regards,

Reply to: