Bug#934463: initscripts: consider taking over hwclock policy machinery

Andreas Henriksson andreas at fatal.se
Tue Aug 22 11:55:41 BST 2023

Hello Mark,

Happy to see progress on this. I'm adding zeha to CC as he has taken
over the official util-linux debian maintainer role.

On Tue, Aug 22, 2023 at 09:58:47AM +0100, Mark Hindley wrote:
> Andreas,
> I have prepared the necessary updates to src:sysvinit to incorporate the hwclock
> machinery in initscripts. Specifically the files
>  /etc/default/hwclock
>  /etc/init.d/hwclock.sh
>  /usr/share/man/man5/hwclock.5
>  /usr/lib/udev/hwclock-set
>  /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/hwclock.rules

Looks good to me.

HEADS UP: One thought here is that the init script will still need the
actual hwclock binary. While util-linux-extra currently is
pseudo-essential I think zeha plans to make it a regular package at some
point in the future which probably mean you want initscripts to depend
on it (or make the scripts handle that hwclock binary is not available,
but that sounds less compelling to me). You might want to add the
dependency now so that it's not forgotten once util-linux-extra is no
longer pseudo-essential.

(I'd be happy if I could see the actual diff, but could not spot a
relevant branch on salsa/debian/sysvinit.)

> Obviously we need to coordinate the transition and I will add Breaks/Replaces
> << the util-linux-extra version which drops the files.

Although zeha should probably ack this, I personally think it's better
if a single person uploads both packages in a situation like this.
I thus propose that you prepare and post a diff for util-linux and then
you agree on a time slot where no maintainer uploads are planned (likely
after the current version just uploaded has successfully migrated to
testing) and then you just NMU util-linux (together with the sysvinit
upload). You thus have control over both version numbers used and can
set the relationships as needed.
(This is how I've done in the past when taking over files from packages
maintained by other people and it works best IMHO.)

If you'd rather see that someone else some or all of the util-linux
poking then please say how you'd like to see it and I'll help out where
needed (unless zeha would rather do it himself).

Feel free to push a branch to salsa.debian.org/debian/util-linux with
proposed changes if you do prepare them.

> If util-linux-extra were to use it, my understanding is that rm_conffile only
> removes *unmodified* conffiles so user modifications should be preserved. But we
> might consider synchronised uploads to experimental to test and confirm.

Honestly I've forgotten all about how I envisioned this migration to

> Best wishes
> Mark

PS. I'd be happy to discuss potential improvements that can be done, but
think the first step should only be to get the files moved over. One
step at a time. Just don't want to leave you with the impression that
I/we are just dumping all the burden on you for old sins. For example
the hwclock(5) manpage probably contains questionable information.
There's really alot of pretending that userspace is actually in control
of the RTCs while the reality is that the kernel has alot of its own
policy around this and unfortunetly some information is set at


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