Bug#542658: prompting due to modified conffiles which where not modified by the user

Holger Levsen holger at layer-acht.org
Thu Aug 20 17:25:06 UTC 2009

Package: science-config
Version: 0.6
Severity: serious
User: debian-qa at lists.debian.org
Usertags: piuparts piuparts.d.o


during a test with piuparts I noticed your package failed the piuparts upgrade 
test because dpkg detected a conffile as being modified and then prompted the 
user for an action. As there is no user input, this fails. But this is not 
the real problem, the real problem is that this prompt shows up in the first 
place, as there was nobody modifying this conffile at all, the package has 
just been installed and upgraded... 

This is a violation of policy 10.7.3, see 
http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-files.html#s10.7.3, which 
says "[These scripts handling conffiles] must not ask unnecessary questions 
(particularly during upgrades), and must otherwise be good citizens."

In http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2009/08/msg00675.html and followups it 
has been agreed that these bugs are to be filed with severity serious.

From the attached log (scroll to the bottom...):

  Setting up science-config (0.6) ...
  Configuration file `/etc/blends/science/science.conf'
   ==> File on system created by you or by a script.
   ==> File also in package provided by package maintainer.
     What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
      Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
      N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
        D     : show the differences between the versions
        Z     : background this process to examine the situation
   The default action is to keep your current version.
  *** science.conf (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ? dpkg: error processing 
science-config (--configure):
   EOF on stdin at conffile prompt
  Errors were encountered while processing:
  E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

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