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Sometimes I see the following dialog.

Configuration file `/etc/...'
 ==> Modified (by you or by a script) since installation.
 ==> Package distributor has shipped an updated version.
   What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
    Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
    N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
      D     : show the differences between the versions
      Z     : background this process to examine the situation
 The default action is to keep your current version.
*** interfaces (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ? N

My question is only about terminology. What is the term for this method to ask the user, the term for this dialogue?

Once I have a technical term, it's easier to find information about it.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Modify - It means you or a script edited a configuration file. For example, if you install mysql server and then you go and edit the /etc/myql/my.cnf file. The next time you do an upgrade and this upgrade includes mysql, when the mysql package starts to install it will detect you modified the my.cnf, so this message you got will appear. The change can be as simple as changing a variable in the config file.

Selecting the D option will show you the difference between the modified file and the new one from the upgrade.

For the terminology about this package installing message, it will only appear if it detects a modified configuration file. From the Debian Handbook:

Remember that during a package upgrade, the user gets to choose the version of the configuration file that should be kept when a modification has been detected. Any external modification of the file would trigger that request, which would disturb the administrator, who is sure not to have changed anything.

So there is no actual "terminology" but only a way of mentioning the act of. In this case, saying "The modified dialogue when I do an apt-get upgrade" or "apt-get upgrade asks what to do in the modified message" will be understood. At least by someone who has dealt with this question when upgrading.

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Can I say the "dpkg modify dialogue" or "apt-get modify dialogue" and everyone knows that I am talking about what I pasted as code in my original question? – user539484 May 9 '13 at 2:59
Yes, you can say any of those two. I will add a bit of more info about this. But for me, if you tell me "I don't know what to do in the apt-get modified dialogue" I would understand you perfectly. – Luis Alvarado May 9 '13 at 3:02

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