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Re: metapackages and setting config files in /etc and /home/dir

On Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 06:53:01PM -0500, Stephan Foley wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 8:34 AM, Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> wrote:
> > That depends to a large extent on what you want to do with it once
> > you've built the package.
> I should of mentioned, ultimately it is for a Debian Pure Blend. For
> now, I am just hacking things out.
> > If you want to upload the package to Debian, then the answer is a clear
> > no. Debian Policy forbids touching other packages' files in /etc with
> > the strongest wording, as well as doing anything to /home other than
> > ensuring it exists. The former is because it would cause confusion who
> > is responsible when things go wrong, the latter is because /home is
> > meant for local use and we shouldn't touch it as a distribution, period.
> I understand the /etc policy and the modular plugins most packages use
> for third party configs (like Apache).
> On the other hand, I was really hoping for an install that looks like this:
> - install xorg, lightdm, window_manager, etc
> - populate /etc/skel
> - create user and copy /etc/skel to $HOME

That is something you *can* do, and is perfectly fine. As long as you
don't overwrite files already there, there's nothing wrong with writing
new files to /etc/skel.

However, you should note that it is also of limited value, since
new files in /etc/skel are not written to the home-directories of users
already created before the package was installed or upgraded. For that
reason, Debian policy also states you should not require that such files
exist or have a particular value.

If the goal is to create a pure blend that makes it easy to recreate a
particular environment on a new system, however, then creating files in
/etc/skel may well be the best way forward. You should, however, also
make it clear in your documentation that you're doing so, how it may
fail ("it won't work for users who were created before package X was
installed") and how people can work around that issue ("copy file X, Y,
and Z from /etc/skel to your home directory").

It is easy to love a country that is famous for chocolate and beer

  -- Barack Obama, speaking in Brussels, Belgium, 2014-03-26

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