[Build-common-hackers] Bug#663082: Bug#663082: Should not silently change definition of $libexecdir

Michael Biebl biebl at debian.org
Thu Mar 8 12:35:09 UTC 2012

On 08.03.2012 13:08, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> On 12-03-08 at 12:14pm, Michael Biebl wrote:

>> While I don't agree that /usr/lib is a good default for $libexecdir 
>> the change in debhelper/dh was at least done by only setting this new 
>> behaviour when bumping the compat level which is an explicit action by 
>> the package maintainer.
> Please elaborate - or help point me to where that dispute is clarified.

$libexecdir is widely used in upstream packages from my experience, and
I only heard of $pkglibexecdir just now. Given that /usr/libexec does
not exist in Debian, I've somehow come to expect that $libexecdir is set
to /usr/lib/<pkg>.

Setting $libexecdir to /usr/lib would mean we get tons of binaries and
executables directly in /usr/lib and I don't really like this idea.

Besides, as shown, packages have become to rely on this particular cdbs
behaviour, so you can't just change this without causing major breakage
in the archive, unless all those packages are fixed (in advance). This
will mean a lot of work:
- at least a full archive rebuild with the new cdbs
- checking all FTBFS if they are caused by cdbs
- comparing old and new binary packages, if their package contents have
- MBF against all affected packages

The situation is different for dh, as it only changed behaviour for
newer compat levels. At that time the change was made in debhelper,
compat level 9 was not declared stable yet. So it didn't affect existing
packages or only packages which opted to use a known unstable compat level.

It looks more sensible to me, if cdbs-using packages that need a new
automake resp pkglibexecdir set libexecdir explicitly to something like

That said, if you think this needs further discussion, feel free to
raise this topic on debian-devel.

>> Please revert this change for now.
> Agreed.  Working on it right now!


Why is it that all of the instruments seeking intelligent life in the
universe are pointed away from Earth?

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