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Bug#178282: dpkg: environment variables should be added to control starting of daemons

Package: dpkg
Version: 1.10.9
Severity: wishlist

It would be nice to have for example environment variables that would 
allow the administrator to control the behaviour of the postinst scripts. 
I know this is not entirely dpkg's business, but it would be quite hard to 
send this request to all packages containing daemons.

There are several daemon packages that when installed are not intended to 
be run until configured (like apache, sendmail, snmpd, sshd etc). The 
postinst scripts nonetheless start these daemons after installation, which 
in some cases can cause problems (like when you don't have a www-data user 
on the system and want Apache2 to save a new configuration). It would be 
easier if one could set something like DPKG_DONT_START=1 before running 
dpkg or apt and not get this problem.

There are naturally other instructions, too, like DPKG_DONT_STOP=1 so that 
if the admin is updating lots of packages with apt, the script could fail 
if it really needs to stop/restart the daemon, or better yet, just do its 
job and not restart. Of course it would output a warning stating that the 
daemon has not been updated.

There may be others too, and I know it will take time until all the 
packages would have this kind of checks in their scripts. But I think this 
would help the administrators in their jobs.

-- System Information
Debian Release: testing/unstable
Kernel Version: Linux mauri 2.4.20-xfs #1 Tue Dec 10 19:05:17 EET 2002 i686 unknown unknown GNU/Linux

Versions of the packages dpkg depends on:
ii  dselect        1.10.9         a user tool to manage Debian packages
ii  libc6          2.3.1-10       GNU C Library: Shared libraries and Timezone

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