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Re: Presenting DPKG_ROOT

Johannes Schauer Marin Rodrigues <josch@debian.org> writes:

> in 2016 we filed our first DPKG_ROOT patch #824594 against
> base-files. The dpkg version at the time just had included support for
> the DPKG_ROOT variable being set for maintainer scripts and we were
> excited to try out this new feature for creating foreign architecture
> chroots. At the time we thought that no discussion on d-devel was
> necessary before filing the bug because we knew only 10 source packages
> had to add DPKG_ROOT to their maintainer scripts and because doing so
> would not affect any normal installation.


Thank you for this excellent write-up!

This is exactly the type of fairly obscure Debian lore that, although it
only affects a small number of packages, is worth documenting because it
can be very difficult to understand otherwise why it's present or to debug
problems caused by accidentally breaking it.

I would therefore love to see this documented in Policy.  The
documentation doesn't have to be long, but even though this only affects a
small handful of packages used during early bootstrapping, I think we
should write it down somewhere official so that we have a record of what
we're doing and how it's supposed to work (and what packages need to care
about it).

If possible, could you write up a brief description along those lines and
open a bug against debian-policy with that description?  We can then
figure out where to put it in the document.


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

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