debconf – Debian configuration management system

debconf is a software utility for performing system-wide configuration tasks on Unix-like operating systems. It is developed for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution, and is closely integrated with Debian’s package management system, dpkg.

When packages are being installed, debconf asks the user questions which determine the contents of the system-wide configuration files associated with that package. After package installation, it is possible to go back and change the configuration of a package by using the dpkg-reconfigure program.

The design of debconf allows for front-ends for answering configuration questions to be added in a modular way, and there exist several, such as one for the terminal, one for KDE, one for GNOME, etc.

If you want to reconfigure your debconf option run the following command

#dpkg-reconfigure debconf

It will open the following screen with frontend options


Debconf Frontend Options


According to standard the used front-end on basis of whiptail or to dialogue. A simple graphic surface on text basis


Simple one, purely text-based surface. A question is asked, and values must be entered. Very well suitably, in order to work remotely on a system.


A modern front-end on basis of the GNOME and GTK libraries.


A modern front-end on basis of the QT-libraries


This front-end is for *nix Freaks,


This is actually none front-ends, because no questions are indicated

Now it will give the message about priority settings


Now it will give the available priority options like the following screen


debconf Priority levels


For more information and details check debconf man page

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3 thoughts on “debconf – Debian configuration management system

  1. If you want a real simple non-interactive installation – for automatic installations, do :
    export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive

  2. Thank you. export did the trick for my issue, though I used:
    export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=dialog

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