[arch-dev-public] Proposal: minimal base system

Bruno Pagani bruno.n.pagani at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 11:06:17 UTC 2019

Le 22/01/2019 à 00:59, Allan McRae a écrit :
> On 22/1/19 9:41 am, Bruno Pagani wrote:
>> Le 22/01/2019 à 00:23, Allan McRae via arch-dev-public a écrit :
>>> On 22/1/19 8:03 am, Levente Polyak via arch-dev-public wrote:
>>>> Everything that won’t be part of base-system needs to be added as a
>>>> dependency to all requiring packages; alternatively don't omit any first
>>>> level runtime dependencies at all.
>>>> This package should only depend on strictly required explicit packages
>>>> to get a working minimal Arch Linux system.
>>>> The proposed end result is:
>>>> - base: convenient helper group for quickly getting a working system
>>>>   when installing, must include the new base-system package
>>>> - base-system: package defining the minimum dependencies for a working
>>>>   base runtime
>>> I think the proposal is OK.  I'm not comfortable with our line about
>>> base group packages being required given how many of them I don't have
>>> installed.
>>> However...  I don't like idea of the base group and base-system package
>>> existing together.  You definition of what base-system should be is much
>>> the same as what the base group was defined to be.  What package
>>> justifies itself in the base group, but would not be in base-system?  It
>>> seems we would have two very similar things where one would do.
>>> Allan
>> In the proposal, base would really just be a convenient helper for e.g.
>> beginners installing their system, so they could get all tools that are
>> often used during install (e.g. cryptsetup, lvm2, various FS/network
>> tools, etc.) or (POSIX) tools people coming from other distros would
>> expect to be here by default (man pages, nano/vi…) but that are
>> interactive ones and thus not really required for operating.
>> Anyone knowing their stuff could just install base-system + what they
>> actually need (e.g., I would install cryptsetup and vim, and not care
>> about netctl, xfsprogs or lvm2).
> "Anyone knowing their stuff" is the essentially the stated Arch target
> audience.

So apparently we did not answer all concerns here. I don’t expect Arch
users to know thing so well that they know exactly what tools are in
which packages when they install Arch for the first time. I think we
should not mistake Arch Power Users, people that have a level of
knowledge above Arch Users, that are just generic Linux Power Users.

> So, the definitions of the sets of packages are:
> base-system - essential packages we assume everyone has installed
> (previous definition of base...)

To be clearer, the new proposition would be to call this arch-system to
avoid confusion with base. However, note that this “previous definition
of base” is definitively not that clear: when I installed Arch, I read
things as “base is a convenient helper to get almost every standard
tools you could need to do your install”.

> base group - base-system plus other packages some people probably
> want/expect and support packages for filesystem types most people don't
> actually need.
For me, base will be what it has ever been: a fast way to get started as
an Arch beginner.
> Maybe slightly facetious on that last one, but I don't see a clear need
> for the base group once base-system exists.

Because, as an Arch dev, you definitively qualify as an Arch Power
Users. I wouldn’t use base either for myself, but I firmly believe most
Arch beginners would.

Does that make sense to you, or do you still think every new Arch User
should already know exactly what is required to get started?


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