Bug#372280: [Pkg-shadow-devel] Bug#372280: adduser fails: "configuration error - unknown item"

Ian Bruce ian_bruce at fastmail.fm
Mon Jun 12 11:12:50 UTC 2006

On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 11:41:00 +0200
Christian Perrier <bubulle at debian.org> wrote:

> > As for fixing the deprecated options, they're included in the version
> > of login from the current stable archive. If the already existing
> > version dependency in newer versions of passwd were updated to reflect
> > this, the whole problem would just go away.
> Hmmm, I'm not sure it would as /etc/login.defs is a configuration
> file. Actually, that file will be replaced silently is it has never
> been changed by the local admin....so the problem will disappear. But,
> if the file has been changed, it will never be replaced and then
> updating it is left to the local admin.
> So, part from the warning message wording change, I'm not sure we can
> do much more.

The file will only get replaced when the login package is upgraded.
Updating the version dependency in passwd will ensure that this
happens. Even if the administrator has edited the file, apt-get will
give them the option of replacing it, as well as the option of
reviewing the differences between the current and new versions.

As things are now, unless you already know where these deprecated
parameters are coming from, there is no indication of what the cause
of the problem is. Changing the version dependency in passwd will
automatically make administrators aware of the issue, after which
fixing the problem is trivial. Then you won't need to have any more
discussions with people to explain what the source of the problem is.

-- Ian Bruce

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