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Bug#461110: please include packages from Priority: important

On Thu, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:26:33PM -0500, Joey Hess wrote:
> Robert Millan wrote:
> > Please move packages from Priority: important to tasksel so that user has the
> > option to de-select them.
> Why? There should be nothing in important that a user should want to
> de-select,

As a user, in most of my installs I can live without cron, vim, ed, iptables,
and others.

Furthermore, the system doesn't break when I purge them.  If removing those
caused the system to break, they'd be marked Essential.

> by definition.

Yes, I know what the definition says [1], but tasksel isn't really in a
position to enforce a requirement (it's not exactly a requirement, but let's
accept it is) that such packages must not be removed.  All it does
right now is making life harder for those who want to remove them.

[1] In fact, I find it contradictory, and I proposed to ammend it in #452393.

> Also, there are things in important that are necessary for d-i and
> tasksel to work *at all*, including aptitude,

What's wrong with 'apt-install aptitude'?

> debian-archive-keyring, and
> gnupg (and even tasksel).

Are you sure about these two?  apt has Depends on them, but they're
superflous (I verified that, see #452640).  I don't know about D-I.

> Your base-installer patch would break d-i.
> I also wouldn't be suprised if a system without important didn't boot
> properly at all. It'd be missing a dhcp client, module-init-tools, netbase,
> and ifupdown.

Yes; for every new option that is added, there's a chance it breaks things.

If you think that is very likely, why not allow it via preseeding?  I wouldn't
mind going through the hassle of adding a preseeding variable and afterwards
dealing with the problems you describe (possibly providing solutions that may
(or may not) allow to make this option more accessible in the future).

> > They could be put together with the "standard" task (as attached patch does)
> > or in a separate one.
> Putting them with the standard task is bad UI; the name of the standard
> task is "standard" because it installs standard.
> Putting it in a separate task is also bad UI; there's no sane way to
> explain what important is in tasksel's UI, and it would just clutter up
> the list with something that only a very few people in the know would
> ever legitimately use.

Ok; that was just a suggested scheme.  A more ghostly UI such as preseeding
would be fine with me either.

> I suggest that if there are things in important that you don't want to have
> installed by default, you get individual packages demoted. A good starting
> point would be dselect[1]..

I did actually consider that.  But out of 61 packages I can see in sid, I only
see 3 that would _really_ be necessary to garantee a non-broken system (the
ones you mentioned before, minus ifupdown which is already dragged in by

Considering this, and also that the description for "important" overlaps
with the description for "required" (see #452393), and that I proposed to
resolve this contradiction in favour of "required", I think it's much more
feasible to handle those 3 packages than handle the rest.

Robert Millan

<GPLv2> I know my rights; I want my phone call!
<DRM> What use is a phone call… if you are unable to speak?
(as seen on /.)

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