[arch-general] Frustrating Dependencies

Heiko Baums lists at baums-on-web.de
Mon Nov 23 08:49:19 EST 2009

Am Mon, 23 Nov 2009 11:17:13 -0200
schrieb André Ramaciotti da Silva <andre.ramaciotti at gmail.com>:

> I don't want to flame, but that's why I recently moved to Gentoo.
> Arch is one of the best distros I've used, but when you use a
> (primarily) binary distro, the number of choices you have is reduced.
> I don't blame the devs, though. They must make packages that appeal
> to a large number of users and Arch ends up with packages with a big
> number of dependencies. If you think about it, using a little bit
> more of disk space isn't a big problem compared to the problem some
> people would have if the default packages weren't compiled with these
> extra dependencies, because they would have to compile their own
> packages, defeating the reason to use a binary-based distro.
> I know, Arch has ABS, which is a great improvement compared to others
> binary-based distros, but it's still not perfect. Pacman doens't look
> for custom PKGBUILDs and automatically create the new packages based
> on them, and I guess it won't. Pacman wasn't meant to do that.
> You can make scripts based on pacman and ABS that will do this (I've
> made one shortly before changing distros), but then I realised I
> don't know all the ./configure options a package has, and I find
> documentation on this a little scarce. Using the 'USE' flags with
> emerge is much simpler in this aspect.

I don't think that you will stay too long with Gentoo. ;-)

It is right that you can reduce the dependencies a bit and that you are
more flexible by setting USE flags. As far as I recall the difference
between Gentoo and Arch Linux regarding the disk space is not
significant if there's a difference at all, but you will need a lot more
temporary disk space for compiling and it takes several days to compile
the whole system and every update takes much longer than on Arch Linux.
So I think "wasting" a bit disk space for dependencies which aren't
needed is better than wasting too much time for compiling the whole
system. That's why I switched from Gentoo to Arch Linux a while ago. On
Arch Linux you still have the same control over the installed packages
as you have on Gentoo. Don't overvalue the USE flags.

There's optdepends to reduce the dependencies a bit as long as a
dependency can be made optionally. Otherwise more comfort for the common
users is better I think.

And pacman and ABS are good as they are. There's still the
NoUpgrade option in pacman.conf if you build a package from ABS.


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