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Re: Can we have "trial installations" in Debian?

> Basically, this would entail archiving up all of the binaries, configuration
> files, as well as whole directories that are likely to contain accumulated
> data (like the digests for Majordomo... or maybe the logs for Apache, etc.).
> Perhaps, it would easiest to make a utility that could generate a bona-fide
> Debian "package" that would contain all of the files that came with the
> original... only this package would capture them in the state they were in
> when the upgrade happened. So, if you tried to install Apache 1.1 over
> Apache 1.05 in "easy revert" mode, then the system would save the binaries
> and config files in, say,
> /var/safetycopy/apache-1.05.safety.deb
> Is anyone pursuing any ideas like this?

Yep. Take a look at my dpkg-repack package:

Package: dpkg-repack
Status: install ok installed
Installed-Size: 17
Maintainer: Joey Hess <jeh22@cornell.edu>
Version: 0.1
Depends: perl
Description: attempts to put an unpacked .deb file back together
 dpkg-repack tries to create a .deb file out of a debian package
 that has already been installed. If any changes have been made to
 the package while it was unpacked (ie, files in /etc were modified),
 the new package will inherit the changes.
 When it works, this utility can make it easy to copy packages
 from one computer to another, or to recreate packages that are
 installed on your system, but no longer available elsewhere.

I've placed dpkg-repack in experimental for now, because it hasn't had
much tsting yet. But I have successfully used it with some packages.

#!/usr/bin/perl -i=-/*/~%*~%/~~%/~~~-/*/_/=~~~-/====~~! # jeh22@cornell.edu
$o=35;$_="$^I-*!=====_!/";s/~/!*/g;s~%~-/ / ~g;$_.='---      Joey Hess
';s/=/__/g;y|*!| \\|;for(split/-/){print' 'x$o--."$_\n"}# a M.C. Escher fan

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