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Configuration files, local changes, and "managed section" markers


these days, I found a package in Debian (four-digit popcon count) that
in an upgrade happily removed some some changes I had made to a
configuration file of that package, in /etc/.

My immediate reaction was to consider this a gross violation of the
Debian Policy (10.7.3 "Behaviour"). Upon closer inspection however I
found there are markers in that file that define a "managed section", an
area where the upgrade process wants to do things - local modification
ought to be placed outside of that, they will not be harmed, then. FWIW,
this functionality was implemented upstream.

So I'm a bit undecided here how to proceed:

Either we understand the policy literally - then the maintainer will see
an RC bug that will require some work to fix.

Or we adopt a pragmatic approach since an administrator still can modify
that file without losing these changes, although not in every place. It
ought to be possible to revert any of the lines in the managed section
if they are undesired. The administrator will however have to respect
the markers, though. To be honest, I failed to see them, which alone
might be reason to prefer the first, strict approach.


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