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Editor: NielsThykier
Comment: Note another use case for declarative packaging modules
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 * Adding system users  * Adding system users (and removing them on purge)

Status: draft


This proposal is about making common install/upgrade/remove operations in binary packages declarative. In particular, it aims to remove many of the common needs for maintainer scripts.

Please usertag bugs with:

Recent examples of this are 685734, 822462, https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2015/08/msg00412.html


This specification consists of many "smaller" projects to replace maintainer scripts (or other imperative packaging methods).

TODO: Review and add items from https://lists.debian.org/debian-dpkg/2015/08/msg00031.html

Integrate dpkg-maintscript-helper features into dpkg

Methods in dpkg-maintscript-helper are basically features that ought to have been in dpkg.

Declarative packaging modules

A lot of packages have common functionality that is not directly specific to what dpkg should provide. As an example, start/stop/restart of services.

If we could outsource such functionality, then other packages could provide a declarative function that other packages can depend on. It could be used for:

  • Start, stop and restart of services (the common cases).
  • Adding system users (and removing them on purge)
  • Alternatives handling (assuming it is not tighter integrated with dpkg)
  • ... your idea here ...

Such declarative modules should probably be very restricted in their requirements (e.g. only need essential packages).

Get rid of incomplete/indirect "triggers"

We got some (possible) indirect triggers where a tool has been rewritten to call dpkg-trigger instead. Presumably these should migrate to "activate(-noawait)" triggers instead of requiring a shell script.

Possible instances: