["DebianPackage"] > debconf

disambiguation : This page is about Debian configuration management system.?BR For Debian Conferences, see ["DebConf"].

debconf is, to put it simply, "Install Shield Wizards Done Right," and is one of the main advantages of ?DebianVsOtherDistros. There is no debconf executable program. The name 'debconf' simply refers to the package configuration system as a whole.

More specifically, when installing (or upgrading) any single package or a group of packages, debconf asks the packages' configuration questions all at once, and stores the user/admin preferences in a database. Later as the packages are installing, their scripts use the configuration preferences in the database to generate configuration files and otherwise do adimnistrative tasks (e.g. set up servers to start or not start, install other software such as libdvdcss, etc.). This saves the hassle of editing configuration files by hand, and also of waiting for each individual package to install before responding to certain configuration questions.

To run it, type in a ["Console"]:

 dpkg-reconfigure debconf


The User/Administrator (["root"]) can configure the following aspects of debconf behavior :

In the same way, you can configure debconf-enabled packages by typing ["dpkg"]-reconfigure] packagename and answering configuration questions.

See: debconf Package.

Future Plans

In the future debconf is pictured to be an even more flexible and easy to use and maintain configuration management system by using the formidable config4gnu ConfigurationHandling functionality.

Unfortunately ["config4gnu"] is not yet ready for use in Debian. But when it becomes mature, its planned features of extending configuration management flexibility beyond that of debconf and harmonizing configuration management with other distributions should make it well worth adoption in Debian.

A couple of interested people would need to team up to get CFG going, in the meantime, debconf remains a stable production-ready uniform front-end for configuring nearly 8000 Debian packages