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Re: install daemon without starting it

On Thursday, 02.04.2009 at 10:12 -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:

> > At the risk of starting a holy war, and kind of highjaking,
> > shouldn't Debian *not* start just-installed daemons by default? Or
> > at least ask while installing if such daemon is to be started
> > automatically (like sshd does, i think)?
>  The argument is that if the user did not want the daemon started,
>  they would not have installed the package. And while there can be a
>  debconf question about it starting, the questions should be of low
>  priority (I insatlled the package, didn't I? why ask me over and over
>  whether I really really want it running?), and the default should be
>  yes.

It's not always clear.  Sometimes, you don't know until
post-installation that a package includes a daemon at all.

>  This is why Debian has debconf -- so that any critical configuration
>  should be done at install, and there should be reasonable,
>  non-obnoxious defaults set by the package anyway.

Well, that's also unclear.  Running a daemon with defaults is not always
desired, and may in fact cause problems.

I must admit that I like the OpenBSD approach here.  Installing a
package just installs the binaries.  At the end of the installation, it
says something like:

   To make the daemon start at each boot, add the following to

   if [ -x /usr/local/sbin/somedaemon ]; then

This may be a less convenient approach, but it does meet the criterion
of Least Surprise: a daemon won't be started automatically before you
have a chance to configure it, for example.


Dave Ewart
Computing Manager, Cancer Epidemiology Unit
University of Oxford / Cancer Research UK
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