nanosudo? (default update-alternatives --config editor choice)

Paul Sladen ubuntu at
Mon Dec 24 21:34:18 UTC 2012

On Mon, 24 Dec 2012, Phil Dobbin wrote:
> >   Debian Policy Manual - 11.4 Editors and pagers
> >
> Whilst I can understand Ubuntu wanting to make things easier for people

Not only Ubuntu, also Debian here.  The specification of the
(long-standing) section in the _Debian_ policy manual appears to give:

  1. Software, launching editors as sub-processes, behaves consistently
  2. '/usr/bin/editor' can be overridden in a system-wide way
  3. $EDITOR/$PAGER can be reliably set for a specific user/context
  4. New users never gets dumped into 'ed', vi, or Emacs unexpectedly
  5. Power users get the flexibility (with 2,3) to get what they wish

> better left as it was especially in cases like visudo

Could you share why having inconsistency and unpredictability (per
1,2,3,4,5 above) would be an advantage?

The aim of doing .deb packaging is to achieve a level of quality-
control in having consistent, predictably and just-works software.

> The results of "fiddling" with it seemed to have outweighed the
> benefits as is often the case.

You have mentioned 'often', and in another part constrasting to Red
Hat, 'problem'.  Can you give specific examples?  Specific, concrete,
examples can be investigated (as I have done here);  general heresay
is hard to respond to and almost certainly impossible to fix.

I'm happy to help investigate and assist with stating improvements,
feature requests, or bug reports.  But those need to be clear and


PS. > It's mainly used when you're logged in as root on the server

One is free to use legeacy privilege elevation (via shared-secret)
without logging.  It's not a good security model and not something
that is encouraged within Ubuntu for new users, ‥nor Mac OSX, ‥nor
even more recent versions of MS Windows.

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list