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upgrading base-passwd

What's the proper way to upgrade debian's base-passwd package? I
use unstable, and I've installed a new base-passwd a couple of times now,
but since /etc/passwd and /etc/group are conffiles, and I don't want to
mess up my exisiting password files (and I use shadow passwords), I have
help my old versions of these files. So upgrading base-passwd hasn't
really accomplished much for me. I have to diff the files and go in and
make the alterations manually, it seems.

Could base-passwd be set up to handle upgrades better, maybe modifying the
files in the postinst? And what about shadow passwords?

               "true - do nothing, successfully" - - true (1)

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