[aur-general] Should "base" packages be listed as dependencies?

Xyne xyne at archlinux.ca
Thu Mar 23 03:24:50 UTC 2017

On 2017-03-22 19:17 -0400
Eli Schwartz via aur-general wrote:

>Given that the official instructions for installing Arch boils down to
>"install the base group into a blank partition and arrange a bootloader
>to boot that base group", I feel it is eminently reasonable to assume
>all valid Arch Linux systems have the base group installed... especially
>because some repo packages *are* built with implicit dependencies
>because of that exact logic. You really can't just go around
>uninstalling parts of base, or rather you can, but then it is up to you
>to know when your unsupported actions are likely to break something.
>(I say this with the full knowledge that I myself uninstall certain
>things I don't feel belong in base at all. I am willing to debug my own
>self-inflicted problems...)
>Though thinking about this, I actually wonder, maybe devtools should
>instruct you (rhet.) to install both base and base-devel into a build

On 2017-03-22 21:07 -0400
beest wrote:

>I'm also on the side of explicitly assuming that base is installed (and
>having the wiki and PKGBUILD dox reflect as much), but before that there
>should possibly be a discussion about what actually belongs in base in
>the first place. A few folks are of the mind that a good chunk of the
>group is wholly unnecessary and should be culled.

The PKGBUILD should specify all necessary information for full dependency
resolution without assuming anything other than base-devel*. Extending the
assumption to the full base group just so some packagers can avoid typing a
few extra words *once* when they create the PKGBUILD is just laziness. It's not
even a real burden given that most deps are pulled in indirectly by other
deps so at most you usually only need to list a few. If a PKGBUILD does not
contain all information for full dependency resolution (minus base-devel), then
it is technically incorrect (it lacks required metadata).

There is no "base installation" of Arch Linux. That's one of the defining
features of this distro. Forcing some people to install bloat and cruft (or
play dependency spelunker) to save a few keystrokes in a PKGBUILD is just
wrong. It also fails to consider use cases such as minimalist chroots for
building packages.


* I could even argue that makepkg should check for base-devel and include it in
  dependency resolution automatically with the --syncdeps option.

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