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Re: semantics of dpkg-* configuration file backups

Sven Joachim schrieb:
> 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.
> Sven 

Thanks for your explanation.

After my upgrade to lenny, there are two files with the dpkg-new
extension left in /etc. On the other hand, the three dpkg-new files that
were there before the upgrade have disappeared. I'll try to find out why.

In the end, I would like to write a simple merge skript for
configuration files. This has been suggested before, e.g.
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=32877. Has anybody
already implemented this?


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