FAI-softupdate: Modified fai.conf in non-interactive session

Michael Tautschnig mt at debian.org
Tue Nov 3 15:35:03 CET 2009

> >>>>> On Tue, 3 Nov 2009 15:11:22 +0100, Martin Härtig <mhaertig at mpp.mpg.de> said:
>     > Dear Thomas Lange,
>     > first of all, thank you for creating FAI, it's a very handy tool for  
>     > maintaining some (and counting) of our desktop machines here.
> Thanks.
>     > Recently, we encountered a problem within the FAI softupdate routine,  
>     > which updates the fai-client version to 3.3: Because we modified the  
>     > fai.conf-file, softupdate now interactively asks if we want to keep  
>     > the current version or replace it with a newer one:
>     >> Configuration file `/etc/fai/fai.conf'
>     >> ==> Modified (by you or by a script) since installation.
>     >> ==> Package distributor has shipped an updated version.
>     >> What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
>     >> Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
>     >> N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
>     >> D     : show the differences between the versions
>     >> Z     : background this process to examine the situation
>     >> The default action is to keep your current version.
>     >> *** fai.conf (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ? Reading package lists...
>     > I guess this is a rather frequently asked question, but is it possible  
>     > to pass an answer to this question to make softupdate non-interactive  
>     > again? It seemed to me that debconf is not capable of this task.
> This is not a fault of FAI, it's the normal dpkg behaviour. You can
> add --force-<thing> so that dpkg behaves in another way.
> This is from dpkg --force-help
>   confnew [!]            Always use the new config files, don't prompt
>   confold [!]            Always use the old config files, don't prompt
>   confdef [!]            Use the default option for new config files if one
>                          is available, don't prompt. If no default can be found,
>                          you will be prompted unless one of the confold or
>                          confnew options is also given
> I think we had some discussion about this on the linux-fai mailing list.

You might want to have a look at http://bugs.debian.org/313397 which has IMHO
been kind of neglected ever since. 


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