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Bug#618885: are packages allowed to per default not purge on purge?

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

> please read #618885 which is about whether sasl2-bin can kept files on
> the system after purging it.

> Policy 6.8 says that files must be removed on purge, Roberto says
> sasl2-bin is an exception. I disagree.

I concur with Roberto in general.  I don't think removing a user-generated
authentication database on purge without some sort of prompt is acceptable
given the risk of user data loss.  To me, this is equivalent to removing
the OpenLDAP database or the Kerberos KDC database, which have similar
prompts and default to not removing the database on purge.

However, in the specific case exercised by puiparts, this file would
contain only automatically generated data from the sasl2-bin postinst.
Could its postrm examine the file on purge and see whether it contains
only the automatically-generated content created by the postinst, and if
so, delete it without a prompt?  This seems entirely safe to me provided
that the logic works, and would resolve the puiparts issue without
removing user data without prompting.

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

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