[arch-dev-public] Clean up the base group

Allan McRae allan at archlinux.org
Fri Feb 26 09:03:08 EST 2010

On 26/02/10 23:40, Roman Kyrylych wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 11:28, Allan McRae<allan at archlinux.org>  wrote:
>> HI,
>> I mentioned this several months ago and got no response so I will post
>> again.  If there are no objections in 48 hours, the rebuilds will start
>> hitting [testing].
>> FS#12890 suggests cleaning some of the packages from the base group.  The
>> goals are to remove old packages that are really no longer needed (e.g.
>> cpio) and packages that are only needed as dependencies for other packages
>> and would not be installed otherwise (e.g. libfetch).  That will clean up
>> the package selection list for the base group in the installer.
>> Here is the list of what I will do:
>> http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/User:Allan/Base_Cleanup
>> It splits the packages in the base group into those staying in base; those
>> removed from base but staying in [core]; those removed from [core].
>>   Packages marked with (???) mean I am not sure what category to put them in.
>>   If there are no comments, I will be playing it safe with these.
>> Any comments before I start?
> What is the reason to move kbd out of the base group?
> Sure, it will be pulled in since initscripts depend on it,
> but so is file, for example, which is really only
> needed by mkinitcpio. So where do we draw a line?
> (just trying to understand the reasoning here)

My reasoning is...   I have used "file" before but I have no idea what 
binaries are in kbd.  Very subjective, but that is the best I have. :P

> My comments, based on the wiki page:
> The following packages should not be in the base group,
> because they are not 'must have on every system' packages:
> * cryptsetup
> * device-mapper
> * dhcpcd
> * jfsutils
> * lvm2
> * mdadm
> * ppp
> * reiserfsprogs
> * rp-pppoe
> * wpa_supplicant
> * xfsprogs
> they should be selected by the installer automatically,
> if it determines that they are required for the setup.

I agree.  But that is for the future when the installer is that smart. 
I will file and installer bug report requesting this.

> The following packages should not be in the base group,
> because they are just a dependencies for other packages
> in the base group:
> * groff - /usr/bin/man uses it to format pages
> * tzdata - required by glibc

Seems fine to me.

> The following packages are questionable:
> * diffutils - why it should be on every system?

base=devel maybe?

> * gawk - why it should be on every system?
> * gettext - shouldn't it be required by something?
> * mailx

Don't we keep that around for some standards reason.

> * mlocate - not really needed on every system,
>    and I doubt that lots of scripts expect it to be present
>    (like grep, for example)


> * pciutils - are they used by initscripts or udev?
> * pcmciautils - are they used by initscripts or udev?

No idea here...

> * perl - required by groff only?

This package I thought should not be installed as a dependency, which it 
would be if groff pulled it.

> * sysfsutils - required by pcmciautils only?


> * texinfo - don't (shouldn't) packages that include info files
>    install correctly without texinfo installed?

They should.  But is "info" a command we want in the base group.  I lean 
towards yes.

> * usbutils - are they used by initscripts or udev?
> * vi - ok, no bikeshed thing here, but there's nano for base
> Please note that the above comments are about
> the base group, not core repo or the list of packages
> that are preinstalled on install disks.

Thanks for the comments.  I should add that "base" means almost nothing 
to me as I only use it for build chroots.  My main installs start off 
with only kernel26, initscripts, e2fsprogs, coreutils and pacman (or 
something like that).


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