Debian DPKG and APT Musings

Michael Neuling Michael.Neuling at
Thu Dec 12 17:34:15 CST 2002


> There are other subtle things, too -- dpkg and the .deb format seem to
> have more flexible pre- and post- install scripting, and almost
> invariably, they correctly stop and start services as needed, and deal
> relatively sensibly with config files (FreeBSD is slightly better with
> config files here, but then it suffers because it doesn't seem to just
> update unchanged ones...)... 

The starting and stopping of services is a policy of the packager.  You can
start and stop services in RPM when installing, removing and upgrading but
it's the policy of RedHat not too.  Debian policy is to restart them.  I
prefer the Debian policy but it's less than perfect, as you alluded to.

Is it correct to start sendmail (say) as soon as it's installed.. maybe.
Is it correct to stop sendmail after it's removed.. almost definitely yes.

This is one thing that irritates me about Debian's restart policy is
doesn't care if the service was running before an upgrade.  For example, I
use to run my laptop on my work network which provided NIS services but
when I was not at work, I would not run NIS (amongst other things).  One
time I did an install while disconnected from the work network (via
apt-cdrom) and it started NIS for me when it upgraded it even though it was
not running before the upgrade.  Starting NIS when the NIS server was not
available, did not do great things for my machine.

  There are those who categorise people into different groups 
  and there are those who don't.  I'm in the latter group.

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