[avahi] Why publish SSH and SFTP by default?

Martin Nyolt 8e3b3cde at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 03:50:02 PST 2015

Hi everybody,

avahi is shipped with the default service files ssh.service and sftp-ssh.service in the /etc/avahi/services directory.
Without any modifications, both services would be automatically announced.

I presume that most users do not want some (more or less) arbitrary services files automatically published, mostly for two reasons.
First, the service is not running at all (sftp-ssh in my case).
Second, the "service namespace" should not be polluted with a mere private service, which is not intended for the public (ssh in my case).

Some distros, such as Arch, make as less modifications to the package as possible.
In this case, the users are getting unexpected behaviour. See also https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=184358

Other distros, such as Ubuntu, fix package issues by modifying the vanilla package to meet the users' expectations. In Ubuntu, the service files are excluded from the /etc/avahi/services directory and put into /usr/share/doc/avahi-daemon/examples/.
In this case, the package maintainers need to put additional effort in package maintainance.

What is the expectation of avahi on the distro's package maintainers?
Both alternatives do not seem to be optimal.
Is there any reason why avahi is putting the ssh and sftp service files in the service directory?
Wouldn't it be better to put them in an example directory in the first place?

Looking forward to your comments and recommendations,

P.S.: I couldn't register in trac due to an internal error (IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '' during POST: /register) and thus couldn't file this as a bug report.

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