Re: install impressions
On Mon, 2002-07-15 at 08:31, Colin Watson wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 15, 2002 at 02:25:51PM +0200, martin f krafft wrote:
> > installing the xserver packages did not pull xfonts-base onto the
> > system, so startx/xdm failed with "could not open default font
> > 'fixed'". that's also not an easy problem to get around for people who
> > don't know the field that well...
> The X server packages shouldn't depend on fonts, since you might have
> them on an external font server. The x-window-system-core metapackage is
> there for people who want a basic X installation.
You know, one way to solve this problem might be to have the notion of
"system profiles", and allow packages to Depend: or Recommend: other
packages depending on the system profile.
For example, the Debian installer could offer the user a choice between
"Standalone Graphical Workstation", "Server", and other ones. Then it
would write that to, say, /etc/dpkg/system-profile.
And the GNOME metapackage could say:
Profile-Depends: xserver-xfree86 [standalone-graphical-workstation]
Or something like that; it's a bit ugly to fit into rfc822 syntax. And
this would work for the X server packages themselves, so the fonts get
installed when necessary, without the user needing to know the
difference between "x-window-system" and the other X packages.
Once we teach dpkg and apt about this, then someone could just say:
aptitude install gnome
And things would generally Just Work. I haven't thought this through a
lot; maybe there are flaws I'm not seeing. It would certainly
complicate package management a bit; it might not be worth it.
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