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backing up/replacing files from another package

The question, basically is this: "How does one have a .deb package which replaces/overwrites files from another package (in this case a dependency)?"

The specific example is this. We want to use autofs. For our turnkey systems, we want to have our own little package, that "configures" the autofs configuration a certain way. So we build this package, and cause it to depend on autofs. Then, we want to replace the versions of /etc/auto.master and /etc/auto.misc that were supplied by the original autofs pacakge, and restart autofs. We've tried some interesting applications of preinst and postrm, but it doesn't really work right. I'm thinking there's got to be a "higher level" way of handling this type of scenario.

Thanks to any and all.

Eric & company.

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