How packages should supply dependency information

Sven Mueller debian at
Mon Nov 7 16:10:36 UTC 2005

Thomas Hood wrote on 07/11/2005 16:31:
[init script dependency information in comments in the init script (as
mandated by LSB) or in additional files?]
> I think that "magic comments" are almost always an indication of poor
> design.  I have another suggestion which I shall now describe.

Generally, I wholeheartedly agree with you there.

> The idea is to provide dependency information in files, and to make use
> of the existing update-rc.d interface.

Again, in general, I would agree with you. However: One of the release
goals for etch is to be as LSB compliant as possible. So given this
release goal, we would have to put that information in those "magic
comments" in the initscripts themselves anyway. So unless we provide
further functionality, I would recommend sticking to the way LSB
suggests, putting the dependency information into the init scripts

If we add functionality (like allowing an init script to say it wants to
be started before some other package - if that other package is going to
be started at all), I would still recommend adding the necessary
information to the init script itself. It doesn't make much sense for me
to split that information out into a second file.

However, we could possibly provide some mechanism inside the debhelper
system which takes some dependency info file and adds it somewhere in
the filesystem (for example in /usr/share/init/deps/package as you
suggested) as well as updating/adding it inside the package's init
script before installing that.

On a side note: There are packages like mysql-server-5.0 which install
init scripts for several daemons. In the case of mysql-server-5.0: the
main server as well as the ndb and ndb-mgm daemons. What would you do
about packages which install multiple daemons, each with its own init

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