Re: package lists for older machines
On Tue, Dec 18, 2001 at 02:21:43PM -0500, J. Tang wrote:
> I've been running [GNU/]Linux for many years, but only recently have
> become a Debian convert. I must say that I thoroughly enjoy apt-getting
> my software rather than wading through RPM's dependency hell.
> One problem I see with the dpkg/apt-get model of Debian is that the
> package database is enormous. Normally this would present no problem to
> modern-day machines, but for those of us who wish to run Debian (testing
> and Woody) on an older machine (in my case, a 486 sx-33), parsing the
> package list is extremely CPU intensive. dselect, for example, consumes
> nearly all available RAM and takes up to a minute to build the dependency
> Thus, there ought to be a database for "Debian lite" -- only those
> packages that would make sense on a slower machine. For example, this
> list would not have any of the mp3, DVD, kde, or gnome packages. It think
> this would be an extremely useful addition to the Debian system.
> What are your thoughts on the feasibility of this?
This would not be too difficult to implement. Probably the easiest way
would be to for you to just set up a partial mirror which contains only the
packages that you feel fit this category, and make this mirror available to
I think that it will be difficult, however, to select which packages are
appropriate for this "Debian lite". One of Debian's great strengths is its
flexibility to start from a minimal base system and quickly and easily pull
in exactly what is required to do what you want. Since small systems like
these can be used for a wide variety of tasks (print service, firewalling,
dialup/terminal services, scientific data collection), you would want to
have all of those packages at your fingertips. The only way to achieve that
is to have a large package database on the system.