source: pkg/boss/main/base-files/trunk/debian/FAQ @ 4461

Revision 1901, 3.8 KB checked in by alanbach-guest, 7 years ago (diff)

Updated base-files to debian, 4.0.1

1Frequently Asked Questions about base-files
4* Questions about "profile.d":
6Q. Why does Debian not have a "profile.d" directory, like other distributions?
8A. Because no Debian package needs it. Debian policy says: "A program
9must not depend on environment variables to get reasonable defaults".
10This policy has been very successful so far. If the default install
11had a profile.d, people might think it's ok to use it for a Debian
12package, when in fact policy does not support such thing.
14Q. Ok, but I still think it would still be a nice thing to have, would
15not make sense to have a profile.d by default, even if no Debian
16package uses it?
18A. No. As explained before, there is the risk of assuming that it's
19"officially supported". If you need a profile.d directory, you may
20still create one in your machine and modify your /etc/profile
21accordingly to enable it. Since this is a configuration file,
22its contents will be preserved in upgrades.
24Q. Ok, but if I do that I will have to merge my changes every time
25the /etc/profile provided by base-files changes.
27A. That should not be a big problem. The default /etc/profile provided
28by base-files is quite minimal on purpose, and it is not expected to
29change drastically from one Debian release to the next one.
32* Questions about /etc/issue and /etc/debian_version:
34Q. I upgraded my system to the testing distribution and now my /etc/issue
35says "lenny/sid". Should it not read "lenny" or "testing"?
37Q. I upgraded my system to the unstable distribution and now my /etc/issue
38says "lenny/sid". Should it not read "sid" or "unstable"?
40A. You obviously do not understand how the testing distribution works.
41Packages uploaded for unstable reach testing after ten days, provided
42they are built for every released architecture, have no RC-bugs and
43their dependencies may be met in testing. You should consider the
44testing and unstable distributions as two sides of the same coin.
45Since the base-files package in testing was initially uploaded for
46unstable, the only sensible /etc/issue to have is one that is both
47valid for testing and unstable, hence "lenny/sid" (or whatever is
50Q. Why "lenny/sid" and not "testing/unstable" as usual?
52A. The codename is a little bit more informative, as the meaning of
53"testing" changes over time.
55Q. Ok, but how do I know which distribution I'm running?
57A. If you are running testing or unstable, then /etc/debian_version is
58not a reliable way to know that anymore. Looking at the contents of
59your /etc/apt/sources.list file is probably a much better way.
62* Other questions:
64Q. Why isn't license "foo" included in common-licenses?
66A. I delegate such decisions to the policy group. If you want to
67propose a new license you should make a policy proposal to modify the
68paragraph in policy saying "Packages distributed under the UCB BSD
69license, Artistic license, GNU GPL and GNU LGPL should refer to the
70files in /usr/share/common-licenses". The way of doing this is
71explained in the debian-policy package. As usual, you should always
72take a look at already reported bugs against debian-policy before
73submitting a new one.
75Q. I upgraded from woody to sarge. Should my system be FHS-compliant now?
77A. Achieving FHS compliance by upgrading would be tricky and prone to
78error in certain cases, so it is not a goal of base-files, nor it is
79planned to be. By default, some "mandatory" directories (like /opt,
80/srv or /media) are only created in the first install (performed by
81debootstrap), to keep the code as simple as possible, follow the
82principle of least surprise on upgrades, and also to give people the
83freedom to remove those directories without them being created again
84when base-files is upgraded. Therefore, if you are running any sort of
85compliance tests, you should do it on newly installed systems only.
88Santiago Vila <>
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