conffiles file format

The conffiles file format couldn't be any easier: it is a list of configuration files, one filename per line.

The filename is expected to be an absolute path directly pointing to the exact location of the configuration file. Depending on the system you are working with, the path may vary (i.e. in usys, the /usr part of the path is not used.)

The files does not support empty lines or comments.

Since each filename must represent a configuration file, none of them can end with a slash (i.e. represent a directory.) It is not possible to say that a whole directory is made up of configuration files.

Under a Unix system, most configuration files go under /etc, although some tool make use of a /var/lib/<project name>/conf/ directory to place their configuration files (hylafax, Apache2 under RedHat, etc.)

Note that setup files, that is, files that are read-only (which means: that are not expected to be edited by an administrator,) should not be defined as configuration files because then the --audit command would not detect them as changed if that happens (i.e. wrong MD5 checksum.)

Control File Field

Note that you may instead want to make use of the Conf-Files field. This is the preferred way to list configuration files with wpkg. Debian uses that field too, but only after it installed a package.


Often there is just and only one file:



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