Documentation for debconf VISIBLE?

The python3-debconf package (from Ubuntu bionic) installs a module, which defines a Debconf class. The class does not explicitly define many methods, instead adding a generic handler for a list of command names, e.g. get, input, etc; these handlers issue the corresponding debconf command (GET, INPUT).

One element in that list is visible. I cannot find any documentation for debconf’s VISIBLE command. Playing around with DEBCONF_DEBUG I discovered it accepts two arguments; the second argument is a question ID, but I don’t know what the first argument is.

Asked By: Mike C


VISIBLE is deprecated since 1999 and no longer documented. Examining the source code shows that its first argument is the priority. VISIBLE determines whether the given question is visible, returning true or false accordingly.

Instead of calling VISIBLE, callers should use INPUT and check for a return value of 30.

Answered By: Stephen Kitt
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