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Re: semantics of dpkg-* configuration file backups

On 2010-01-05 17:48 +0100, Malte Forkel wrote:

> When upgrading a package, the user can specify how a configuration file
> should be handled that has been modified on the local systems.
> Depending on the user's choice, a file with the extension dpkg-old,
> dpkg-new or dpkg-dist might be created besides the configuration file.
> Could someone please explain the semantics of these files? I.e., what
> are the conditions for each of them to get created, what does each of
> them contain?

The .dpkg-new extension is used during unpacking, and you should not see
any such files after the packages have been configured.

If any conffiles (= configuration files contained in the package) have
been locally modified, and their content in the package has changed,
dpkg will prompt you whether you want to keep your modified version or
install the one from the package maintainer.  If you choose the latter
option, your changed file is backed up with a .dpkg-old extension; if
you keep your version, the new packaged version is installed with a
.dpkg-dist extension.


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