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Re: Bug#766459: debootstrap: should not try to configure

On Mon, 27 Oct 2014, Michael Tautschnig wrote:
> > In principle, every essential package may depend on any other, and the
> > set of real dependencies may change over time, so it's natural that
> > debootstrap needs minor adjustments from time to time.
> So would you expect some sort of versioned dependencies in debootstrap?

No, not at all.

I just expect debootstrap maintainers to cooperate with the release
managers to ensure that the version in stable is able to debootstrap
the testing distribution, whenever it is possible to do so.

I've heard that the version in wheezy-backports does not have this problem.
Maybe it could be just a matter of making an upload for the next point release.
I don't know.

> [...]
> > The Depends field is implicit among the set of essential packages.
> I'm not too sure about the "among" bit here? No doubt that this is implicit for
> any non-essential package, but "among" them I'm not sure whether any rules apply
> right now?

I mean that the rule saying

Package A does not need a "Depends: B" if B is essential

does not say anything about the essentialness of *A*, which means
the rule is valid regardless of A being essential or not.

The fact that base-files is essential is quite irrelevent. A chown in
the postinst should not fail, and if it does, there is a bug in debootstrap.

> > If a tool like apt-get or dpkg really behaves in a different way when
> > I add a Depends field which was already implicit, I think that there
> > is something fundamentally wrong here.
> Does dpkg really add the "essential" information into its dependency
> information? Wouldn't this rather be seen as "ah, essential, so it must be
> there?" At least briefly looking at dpkg's source code I cannot seem to see dpkg
> considering this implicit dependency at all (unless attempting to remove an
> essential package).

In the general case we don't have to worry about that because once
that essential packages are properly installed and configured, they
will continue to work all the time unless apt-get does some really
weird things.

But how are we expected to have all the essential packages properly
installed and configured?

Should base-files worry about base-passwd being properly installed and
configured before making a chown? Certainly not, this is the work of

> [...]
> I do appreciate being careful, but then bug fixes for a bug of normal severity
> (#763405) shouldn't be causing RC bugs either.

Fixing bugs in one package usually makes hidden bugs in other packages
to become no longer hidden. This happens all the time and it's not a
good argument to *not* fix the bugs where they are.

In either case, I'm going to re-examine carefully what I did in
base-files 7.7 and see if there is a simple workaround that may be
done to avoid this problem.


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