Application Packaging Developer's Guide

Becoming Comfortable With Uncertainty

An administrator has control over all packages being installed on a system by using an administration file. Unfortunately, an alternate administrative defaults file is often provided by the package designer, bypassing the wishes of the administrator.

Package designers sometimes include an alternate administration file so that they, not the administrator, control a package's installation. Because the basedir entry in the administrative defaults file overrides all other base directories, it provides a simple method for selecting the appropriate base directory at install time. In all versions of the Solaris operating environment prior to the Solaris 2.5 release, this was considered the simplest method for controlling the base directory.

However, it is necessary for you to accept the administrator's desires regarding the installation of the product. Providing a temporary administrative defaults file for the purpose of controlling the installation leads to mistrust on the part of administrators. You should use a request script and checkinstall script to control these installations under the supervision of the administrator. If the request script faithfully involves the administrator in the process, System V packaging will serve both administrators and package designers.