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

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 04:18:45PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Mon, 26 Feb 2018, Michael Biebl wrote:
> > So dpkg would have to remember if a conffile was removed by the admin
> > prior to the uninstallation. Doesn't sound too complicated to me, we
> > already have an obsolete flag in the status file.
> I think we'd also need a mechanism for packages/dpkg to track
> non-conffile configuration files too.
> And we'd still need the above hack when the configuration file should be
> disabled on remove even if the admin has only modified the configuration
> file.
> Maybe we should consider breaking with the past, and moving
> configuration files when a package is removed to some staging directory
> or tarball, and just restoring them if the package is reinstalled
> without an intervening purge. [Or whatever other creative solution the
> dpkg developers decide is the best course of action.]

Possibly also checking if those configuration files have been modified, and
removing them completely if they haven't.  Currently, packages in rc state
accumulate forever, leaving tons of cruft on systems that have been
dist-upgraded.  The vast majority of packages have no modifications.

⣾⠁⢠⠒⠀⣿⡁ A dumb species has no way to open a tuna can.
⢿⡄⠘⠷⠚⠋⠀ A smart species invents a can opener.
⠈⠳⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀ A master species delegates.