Bug#367497: [Debconf-devel] Bug#367497: debconf: With noninteractive frontend, debconf should print "error" templates to stderr

Colin Watson cjwatson at debian.org
Tue May 16 13:44:55 UTC 2006

On Tue, May 16, 2006 at 02:49:12PM +0200, Frank Küster wrote:
> Using a template with type "error" usually means that installation will
> not proceed successfully (otherwise it seems like abuse of the type).
> In the noninteractive frontend, such messages are not displayed on the
> terminal.  They are sent by mail, but on many systems no mail is
> configured, or reading mail has to be done on a different system, or
> similar.  
> Therefore users who encounter a problem that results in a debconf error
> and a (config or postinst) script failing are left without information
> how to fix the problem.  As I understood it, telling people how to fix
> or debug the error  is exactly the purpose of the "error" type.
> Therefore I suggest that debconf should print messages of type "error"
> to stderr.

I agree. A similar note from joeyh is in debconf's TODO file:

* Just because it's noninteractive doesn't mean it can't output to the
  console. I think it should do so, at least for errors (in addition to
  mailing them). That way if an error is displayed and the package install
  fails you don't just see it dying, you immediately see why.

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at debian.org]

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