[arch-dev-public] definition of the core repo, putting nilfs-utils, btrfs-progs and dosfstools in core

Dieter Plaetinck dieter at plaetinck.be
Sat Dec 18 13:59:04 EST 2010

Last time the topic "moving nilfs/btrfs utilities in core"
generated some discussion, but no outcome. (and not even all my questions were answered)

So I'll try again, and I'll try to be more clear.

question 1:
If you install arch linux on a foo-filesystem, should you install
foo-utils as well? so that at least your system doesn't break when it
needs to run fsck.foo during boot.  IMHO the answer is yes.

question 2:
what exacly is the definition of the core repo?
Pierre tells me "The idea of core was to provide a
minimal set of packages that are needed by nearly all users to set up a
base system."  If is true, what separates base from core?
Because this definition looks an awful lot like the definition of base to me.

AFAIK core is about bundling all packages which are critical (for the purpose of getting the system to run) for some users,
depending on their particular setup.  This is the reasoning why we include the core repo on our core install images,
because we say "with this repo, users can install what they need in order to make their system boot and run fine".
This is also in line with what I see on
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Official_Repositories ("will
provide you with a fully functional base system")

This is the problem:
- we want to allow users to use new filesystems during installation.  Currently this includes nilfs2 and btrfs.
  (marked as experimental in aif).
- On the other hand we apparently don't allow infrequently used packages in core. Even if I would wait and only support
  these filesystems when they are declared stable, their package usage would still be low.  It would be pretty backwards if I would need
  to wait for users to configure their systems using the filesystems manually, so the package usage goes up, before I can include them
  on the installation media.
  Currently, dosfstools, nilfs-utils and btrfs-progs-unstable are not in core and can't be installed by using a networkless install with the core-images.

So, How do we solve this?  I see two outcomes:
- we add the packages mentioned above to core, and loosen up the signoff requirements for packages with low usage. 
  (because "commonly used" and "needed for a base system" are very different things)
- we do not add these packages to core, and add something about "must have high usage" on the wikipage i mentioned above.
  this also means I will need to include a small repo with "needed for base systems, but with low usage" on the core install images, to
  allow users to install these packages.  And I'll need to adapt aif because it now needs to use additional repositories to install
  required-to-boot packages.

I vote for outcome 1.


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