[Pkg-roundcube-maintainers] Bug#478170: roundcube: files missing after install

Luca Capello luca at pca.it
Sun Jul 4 18:21:17 UTC 2010

forcemerge 478170 588081
severity 478170 normal

Hi there!

I have just file bug #588081, before finding that it was already
reported (with a misleading title, sorry), bugs merged.

On Sun, 27 Apr 2008 22:40:19 +0200, Vincent Bernat wrote:
> OoO En ce début de soirée  du dimanche 27 avril 2008, vers 21:58, Teodor
> <mteodor at gmail.com> disait:
>> On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 9:35 PM, Vincent Bernat <bernat at debian.org> wrote:
>>> If   you    install   earlier    versions   of   roundcube,    you   get
>>> /etc/default/roundcube.     This    file    has   been    replaced    by
>>> /etc/default/roundcube-core     (because    roundcube    is     now    a
>>> metapackage). Since  we don't want to  bother users that  did not modify
>>> this file, we ship this file instead:

No, this is completely wrong, for various reasons, the first being that
as Teodor pointed out, every dpkg command will include these files as

>> I see your point now: the files were moved from the 'roundcube'
>> package to 'roundcube-core' package. In this case the package should
>> not declare it owns these files.
>> The logic is that for any given package, the command "dpkg -L
>> PKG-NAME" will list the files and ALL of them should exist even if
>> empty.
> I want  to get rid of  /etc/default/roundcube since it is  useless. If I
> leave them, someone will file  a bug telling that roundcube leaves empty
> useless config files around.

Which would be a minor/wishlist bug, yes.

> However, I  cannot just simply drop  them from the  package because some
> people  installed earlier  version  of roundcube  package  and may  have
> modified /etc/default/roundcube.  They should be aware  that the content
> of it has moved to /etc/default/roundcube-core and I cannot do it myself
> because a package  do not have the right to mess  with files modified by
> the user. This is why roundcube ships an empty (with comments) file.

And this is completely wrong, you should instead move them as explained
in the Debian wiki <http://wiki.debian.org/DpkgConffileHandling> or,
better, through dpkg-maintscript-helper (included in dpkg >=

> I could  add a debconf question  and many other workarounds  but this is
> cumbersome  and  overly complicated  while  the  current  fix relies  on
> standard conffiles mechanisms  with the only drawback that  dpkg -L will
> list files that do  not exist anymore.

This is not the only drawback, *every* dpkg command will consider them
as conffile and even reportbug will include them, see bug #588081.

> And I still fail to see why this is a bug.  As a user, I can delete
> myself a conffile. It still will be listed in dpkg -L.

With the exception that dpkg will specially treat this (now) deleted
file.  From the Debian Policy Manual, "Appendix E - Configuration file
handling (from old Packaging Manual)", "E.1 Automatic handling of
configuration files by dpkg":

  When a package is installed for the first time dpkg will install the
  file that comes with it, unless that would mean overwriting a file
  already on the file system.

  However, note that dpkg will not replace a conffile that was removed
  by the user (or by a script). This is necessary because with some
  programs a missing file produces an effect hard or impossible to
  achieve in another way, so that a missing file needs to be kept that
  way if the user did it.

  Note that a package should not modify a dpkg-handled conffile in its
  maintainer scripts. Doing this will lead to dpkg giving the user
  confusing and possibly dangerous options for conffile update when the
  package is upgraded.


In roundcube's postinst, you are exactly doing what you should not:
modifing a dpkg-handled conffile, bug severity raised to normal (not
serious because the Debian Policy extract above is a "should" and not a
"must" nor a "required").

Thx, bye,
Gismo / Luca
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