Spliting debian package - how to handle files correctly?

I am trying to split debian package to smaller packages.

Original package MyPackage-1.0.deb was split to few smaler packages (MyPackage-2.0.deb, MyPackage-config-2.0.deb).

The MyPackage-1.0.deb contained all files, during split I moved all files from directory /etc to package MyPackage-config-2.0.deb.

dpkg-buildpackage process was without errors.

When I try upgrade by apt-get upgrade i get this message.

Unpacking MyPackage-config (from .../MyPackage-config-2.0.deb) ...
dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/MyPackage-config-2.0.deb (--unpack):
 trying to overwrite '/etc/MyPackage.conf', which is also in package MyPackage 1.0
dpkg-deb: subprocess paste killed by signal (Broken pipe)

The package did not install unitil I forced it by apt-get -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-overwrite" upgrade

In file debian/control there is:

Source: MyPackage
Section: metapackages
Priority: optional
Maintainer: Just Me <me@example.com>
Standards-Version: 3.9.3
Build-Depends: debhelper (>= 4)

Package: MyPackage
Architecture: i386
Conflicts: gnumeric
Pre-depends: MyPackage-config
Depends: libreoffice-common
Description: This package

Package: MyPackage-config
Essential: yes
Architecture: i386
Depends: openssh-server
Description: config files

How should I split packages to prevent the error?


You probably want to add these lines to MyPackage-config:

Breaks: MyPackage (<< 2.0)
Replaces: MyPackage (<< 2.0)

This tells dpkg not to allow MyPackage 1.0 and MyPackage-config 2.0 to be installed at the same time (cause, obviously, they would both want to own /etc/MyPackage.conf), and also that it's ok for MyPackage-config 2.0 to take over some of the files previously owned by MyPackage 1.0.

See http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-relationships.html for in-depth information.

As an unrelated aside, having "Essential: yes" on MyPackage-config is probably a bad idea.

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