[arch-dev-public] [RFC] another base cleanup

Eric Bélanger snowmaniscool at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 20:55:31 EDT 2012

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM, Dan McGee <dpmcgee at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 8:33 AM, Andreas Radke <andyrtr at archlinux.org> wrote:
>> You're leaving the KISS principle here. This won't make things simpler
>> than they are right now for some years.
>> Please keep our base and base-devel groups how they are. Skilled users
>> are still allowed to disable unwanted packages at install process or
>> any time later.
>> There's no need to slack down Arch base groups any further. You won't
>> gain much free disc space but handling dependencies would become hell.
> As Allan indicated as well as Andy here, I'm definitely worried we are
> trading minimal space savings for a dependency disaster. Right now the
> base install "just works", and has all the tools you would expect it
> to have on a base Linux system while still being as lightweight as any
> Linux install out there. Moving things out of the "you should have
> these installed" group would require adding a lot of dependencies for
> things as simple as utilities used in install scripts, and we will
> definitely find ourselves in circular dependency hell which is
> something that should be avoided as much as possible.

I agree.

> With this said, I have no problem at all with packages being
> categorized more- there is no reason iputils can't be in both the
> 'base' and 'base-network' groups.

If I can expand on this idea, we could keep the current base group
as-is (except perhaps without the base packages which are dependencies
of other base package), but introduce sub-groups:

base-essential (what is called base in the original email)

So we keep the current base group but each package in the base group
now belongs to a second group. We still assume that the base group is
installed so we don't break dependencies and users who don't care a
bout a few unused package can still install the base packages with a
'pacman -S base'.  However, users with non-regular setups (chroot, VM,
etc) can use these new groups to install the base package they
need/want, e.g. 'pacman -S base-essential base-utils'. That seem to
accomplish what is intended here without risking breakage.

As for the dropped list, I would remove the base packages which are
dependencies of other base packages and keep the rest in base (and put
them in base-utils group).  Users can always trim it down as they
like.  I don't really agree on some package on that drop list like
texinfo for example. I can't see all packages with texinfo files
adding  texinfo as a dependency or optional dependency.


> -Dan

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