The kdebase-workspace package on Arch Linux only preservers changes made to /usr/share/config/kdm/kdmrc when the package is updated. I need to edit /usr/share/config/kdm/Xsetup to get my monitors to rotate correctly, but the changes get lost every time kdebase-workspace gets updated. The Arch Wiki recommends copying /usr/share/config/kdm/Xsession to /usr/share/config/kdm/Xsession.custom. I could do this with /usr/share/config/kdm/Xsetup, but I thought files in /usr/share/ are supposed to be managed by the package manager.

It seems like this might be a bug in the package (i.e., should it be saving all the configuration files) or should I be making a change in /usr/share/config/kdm/kdmrc to tell it to look some place else and if so where?

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Files under /usr are meant to be under the control of the package manager (except for files under /usr/local). Configuration files that the system administrator may modify live in /etc. This is part of the traditional unix directory structure and codified for Linux in the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. The recommendation in the Arch Wiki to edit files under /usr is a bad idea; the fact that your changes are overwritten by an upgrade is expected.

Arch Linux manages files in a somewhat nonstandard way. You can mark the file as not to be changed on upgrade (this is documented on the wiki) by declaring it in /etc/pacman.conf:

NoUpgrade = usr/share/config/kdm/Xsetup

You may want to replace /usr/share/config/kdm/Xsetup by a symbolic link to a file under /etc (e.g. /etc/kdm/Xsetup), to make it easier to keep track of the customizations that you've made.

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