[Mageia-dev] alternatives policy

Anssi Hannula anssi at mageia.org
Wed Apr 11 03:15:10 CEST 2012

11.04.2012 03:13, Maarten Vanraes kirjoitti:
> Hi,
> from a question someone asked, i was reminded why an alternative file ( 
> /var/lib/rpm/alternative/gl_conf ) was not owned.
> I found out that alternative files are usually %ghost 'ed, but it seems not in 
> this case.
> I looked at the alternatives policy, but it was empty as it needs yet to be 
> written.
> so, is it true that alternative files should be %ghost 'ed? or not?

/var/lib/rpm/alternatives/foo is not an "alternative file" (at least not
IMHO), but an internal update-alternaties db, so it is not ghosted.

It is automatically removed by update-alternatives when it becomes empty
(i.e. all packages providing the alternative have been removed).

There is one problem regarding this, though. If the files becomes
corrupted, the alternatives system becomes kind of stuck... IMO it
should zero/drop the /var/lib/rpm/alternatives/foo on error (possibly
with a backup). AFAICS this would mean changing the badfmt() error
handler in /usr/sbin/update-alternatives to remove/move the file and
changing the open(AF, "$admindir/$name") loop starting in line 135 to
handle errors gracefully...

Anssi Hannula

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