[Debconf-devel] Bug#761034: debconf-set-selections is ignored

Harald Dunkel harald.dunkel at aixigo.de
Thu Sep 11 07:13:33 UTC 2014

On 09/10/14 21:49, Joey Hess wrote:
> It's up to individual packages how they deal with debconf settings.
> In general, the current configuration of the system is preferred over
> what is in the debconf cache when reconfiguring a package. It's often
> considered a bug if a package uses some, possibly old value from the
> debconf cache and blows away local admin changes to the system. 

I understand. Maybe I am too blind to see, but this is completely
left out in debconf(1) and others, i.e. the "confusing and unex-
pected" still stands.

Maybe it would help to extend the Debian policy to make sure that
packages do not ignore their own(!) options stored in the debconf
database? Just for using debconf, of course.

> Debconf preseeding is not really intended to be used with dpkg-reconfigure,
> but instead to be done before a package is installed for the first time.


"debconf-set-selections can be used to pre-seed the debconf data-
base with answers, or to change answers in the database. Each
question will be marked as seen to prevent debconf from asking the
question interactively.

Only use this command to seed debconf values for packages that will
be or are installed. Otherwise you can end up with values in the
database for uninstalled packages that will not go away ..."

No word about "first time install only".

Some real-life packages simply behave differently to what is des-
cribed in the man page, even though they are using debconf. This
doesn't seem right.


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