Re: bashims in debian/rules
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Stupid question: May a virtual package have the "essential" flag?
If the answer is "no", and this is the *only* (technical) reason why we do
not have a virtual package named "posix-shell" to satisfy dependencies on
/bin/sh, then we should consider bash as non-essential.
The Debian FAQ says this about virtual packages:
Debian uses a "virtual" package system to allow system administrators
to choose (or let users choose) their favorite tools when there are
two or more that provide the same basic functionality, yet satisfy
package dependency requirements without specifying a particular
This suggests that if we want to support other shells as /bin/sh, we
could be using the update-alternatives method, unless, of course, we
think that /bin/bash and another POSIX shell do not provide the same
This also suggests that dependencies[*] on a particular package are a bad
thing, depending on any package providing the same *basic* functionality
should be enough.
[*] Yes, this text refers to binary dependencies, but source
dependencies (debian/rules) are also bad when they are gratuitous.
Of course, bash is still essential, but if we ever want to remove this
flag (allowing a virtual package to be essential), we want to think of it
carefully *now* and discourage the use of /bin/bash as we already do for
/usr/bin/gawk or /usr/bin/mawk (in favour of /usr/bin/awk).
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