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Re: does /var/games have to be deleted on purge? (if it's empty..)

Holger Levsen <holger@layer-acht.org> writes:

> Well, I think about changing my mind here. In the past, piuparts has
> indeed ignored eg the non-removal of the ldap database on purge. But now
> I wonder, why should this be done. Unix has a tradition to allow you to
> shot into your foot and if you do a purge of a package, then IMHO a
> purge should do what a purge should do. If you dont have backups and do
> purge, you might loose some important data. But thats the same with "rm
> -rf /" or such.

> So what should be the criteria for a package to behave differently on
> purge?

There are several arguments that say that such data shouldn't be deleted
on purge.  I don't know how persuasive they are.

* The data is not created by the package, in the sense that it's not
  created automatically by package installation.  It's created by the
  user's use of the package and is the user's data.  It's not clear that
  the mysql-server package, for instance, owns all the data in the default
  database location and has the right to be purging it.

* It's sometimes necessary to purge a package and reinstall it to fix some
  weird problem, or if not necessary at least expedient.  For example, if
  one accidentally deletes a configuration file, one of the faster ways to
  get the original configuration file shipped with the package back is to
  purge and reinstall the package.  It saves unpacking the package
  somewhere and manually copying out the configuration file.  If purging
  the package deletes databases, this removes that tactic as an option.

* Whether it makes sense given Debian semantics or not, users just don't
  expect removing packages to, from their perspective, destroy data.
  Other distributions don't seem to do this.

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

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