Patching config files (or not)

Stephen Gallagher sgallagh at
Fri Aug 12 17:17:06 UTC 2011

On Fri, 2011-08-12 at 18:50 +0200, Jos Vos wrote:
> Hi,
> Should configs files of a package be patched to have settings that
> make it work more or less out of the box (as far as possible, some
> setting like DB access etc. just can't be filled in in advance)?
> I came across a package that defines to use "nogroup" in its config
> file as effective group (Fedora has no "nogroup", but has group "nobody")
> and defines to put a pid file in /var/run (which fails, as it appears to
> do that as nobody/nobody when running).
> Should this config file have been patched to use "nobody" as group and
> should the package (for example) include a package-specific directory
> below /var/run to put its own pid file in (and patch the config file
> to use this directory for pid files)?
> Just wondering if it is worth filing bugs against this package
> because of the above (easy to solve) issues...

I think the problem is twofold: if the package as shipped requires the
existence of a particular group, it's the responsibility of the packager
to ensure that the group exists on the system. So as part of the install
scripts (probably in %pre) you need to create the group on the system.

That said, it would be best to work with upstream to add a configure
option to select the group most appropriate for each platform.
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