[Debconf-devel] Bug#922818: debconf: Add a socket bridge to handle running frontend as normal user

Julian Andres Klode jak at debian.org
Thu Feb 21 06:14:24 GMT 2019

Package: debconf
Version: 1.5.70
Severity: wishlist

For years, we've been shipping helpers in aptdaemon, PackageKit, and
probably also qapt (and maybe other daemons?) to relay debconf questions
from the root daemon to the user.

They work by using the pipe frontend to write into a socket, and then
having the frontend invoke debconf-communicate with DEBCONF_DB_REPLACE=configdb
and DEBCONF_DB_OVERRIDE=Pipe{infd:none outfd: none}, setting an
appropriate DEBIAN_FRONTEND based on the desktop, and piping data between
socket and debconf-communicate.

I've recently started restructuring the PackageKit helper to be systemd
socket-activated, so that it continues to work even if you close the

I'd like us to be shipping a prebuilt solution for that in debconf itself,
rather than duplicating that logic all across daemons. I guess the best way
would be for debconf-communicate itself to learn reading from the socket, and
then we just need to add some logic to set the correct frontend, and handle
being passed a socket from systemd on socket activated systems.

debian developer - deb.li/jak | jak-linux.org - free software dev
ubuntu core developer                              i speak de, en

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