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Re: The value of unmodified conffiles left on disk of removed, but not purged, packages

On Sun, 25 Feb 2018, Dimitri John Ledkov wrote:
> A couple of conffiles were /etc/X11/Xsession.d/00upstart and
> /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99upstart which assumed that upstart would be
> alwasy be available, and in bionic after the above described update
> started to error out, and prevent gdm3 from completing a login.

Conffiles which continue to have an effect on the system after their
package has been removed seems like a bug to me. I'd be tempted in this
case to provide a transitional upstart package which fixed these
conffiles to properly test for upstart.[1]

> Surely, there is no value in keeping them on disk, and unmodified
> conffiles should be removed, upon package removal.
> Thoughts?

This breaks the expectation that `apt remove foo; apt install foo;`
would lead to foo working with the same configuration if deletion of
configuration files is meaningful for foo. [For example, apache operates
this way.]

1: Though this sort of guarding is easy for Xsession.d, I'm certain that
there are configuration systems where this is not easy to implement.

Don Armstrong                      https://www.donarmstrong.com

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that
you do it.
 -- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi