Proposal: revert recent debianutils changes for Jammy

Robie Basak robie.basak at
Thu Nov 25 12:53:03 UTC 2021

You may be aware of a couple of recent changes in debianutils in Debian:

1. The "tempfile" command has been removed.

2. The "which" command now prints a deprecation warning on every

These have ramifications across the archive, and also outside the
archive, as everything that relies on these commands need adjusting.

This kind of big change is being done in the right place in Debian's
release cycle - shortly after a release. But for Ubuntu, it's the
opposite - we're a few months away from an LTS release.

Risk 1: before everything is settled, we release an LTS that is
unpolished with regards to these changes.

Risk 2: the changes may prove unpopular with users. Given that these are
deprecations coming from Debian, it seems odd for Ubuntu users to face
this ahead of Debian and without appearing in our interim releases
first. Debian may end up applying mitigations for specific affected user
stories but we would be stuck with the behaviour defined at our LTS
release time.

Proposal: we revert these two changes in an Ubuntu delta on the
debianutils package, and reconsider syncing back with Debian _after_
Jammy is released.

Then Debian can lead the way, and we won't get additional work ensuring
that there are no user-facing warts ahead of Debian's schedule.

Any objections to an upload to debianutils in Ubuntu reverting these two

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