ucfr - Update Configuration File Registry: associate packages with configuration files


ucfr [ options "] " <Package><Path to configuration file>


Where Packageis the package associated with the configuration file (and, in some sense, its owner), and Path to configuration fileis the full path to the location (usually under /etc) where the configuration file lives, and is potentially modified by the end user.

This script maintains an association between configuration files and packages, and is meant to help provide facilities that dpkgprovides conffiles for configuration files and not shipped in a

Debian package, but handled by the postinst by ucfinstead. This script is idempotent, associating a package to a file multiple times is not an error. It is normally an error to try to associate a file which is already associated with another package, but this can be over ridden by using the --forceoption.


-h, --help

    Print a short usage message

-n, --no-action

    Dry run. Print the actions that would be taken if the script is invoked, but take no action.

-d [n], --debug [n]

    Set the debug level to the (optional) level n(n defaults to 1). This turns on copious debugging information.

-p, --purge

    Removes all vestiges of the association between the named package and the configuration file from the registry. The association must already exist; if the configuration file is associated with some other package, an error happens, unless the option --forceis also given. In that case, the any associations for the configuration file are removed from the registry, whether or not the package name matches. This action is idempotent, asking for an association to be purged multiple times does not result in an error, since attempting to remove an non-existent association is silently ignored unless the --verboseoption is used (in which case it just issues a diagnostic).

-v, --verbose

    Make the script be very verbose about setting internal variables.

-f, --force

    This option forces operations requested even if the configuration file in consideration is owned by another package. This allows a package to "hijack"a configuration file from another package, or to purge the association between the file and some other package in the registry.

--state-dir /path/to/dir

    Set the state directory to /path/to/dir instead of the default /var/lib/ucf.Used mostly for testing.


The most common case usage is pretty simple: a single line invocation in the postinst on configure, and another single line in the postrm to tell

ucfr to forget about the association with the configuration file on purge (using the --purge option) is all that is needed (assuming ucfr is still on the system).


/var/lib/ucf/registry,and /var/lib/ucf/registry.X,where Xis a small integer, where previous versions of the registry are stored.



If the package foowants to use ucfr to associate itself with a configuration file foo.conf,a simple invocation of ucfr in the postinst file is all that is needed:

ucfr foo/etc/foo.conf

On purge, one should tell ucf to forget about the file (see detailed examples in /usr/share/doc/examples):

ucfr --purgefoo/etc/foo.conf


ucf(1), ucf.conf(5).


This manual page was written Manoj Srivastava <>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system.