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Re: Installation of Recommends by default on October 1st



[...]
> I use aptitude for my everyday work. On my desktop, I really appreciate
> pulling in Recommends. On cluster compute nodes, I don't. But I can turn
> it of easily without being "forced" to use apt-get just because I'm on a
> different type of machine. Compute nodes are what I'd call an "unusual
> installation", as the Policy states it for Recommends. So are Embedded
> Devices. (Of course, the definition of "usual" is always vague.)
[...]

Please consider two things:
- More than 90% of all processors are installed in embedded systems (of course,
  only on pretty few of them Debian is installed)
- (Debian) Linux is still more widely spread on server systems than on Desktops
  ([1,2] sorry, both are German)

However, especially Desktop users must be handled with extra care, so probably
staying with the current state really isn't an option. What I'd propose is not a
debconf question by apt, but rather the debian-installer. I'd follow this
approach for three reasons:
- debconf is used by the d-i anyway already, so no need for the APT-people to
  add debconf-stuff
- the d-i may be pre-seeded, so auto-installs using the d-i may avoid displaying 
  this question
- In case someone doesn't use d-i to setup systems there will be ways to modify
  the apt configuration anyway (be it copying or editing of config files or
  whatever)

What remains to be discussed is then, whether already installed systems should
get recommended packages or not. To go a little further, what would be a proper
way of asking users whether they want their settings changed or not (apart from
apt asking debconf questions).

Best,
Michael

[1] http://www.linux-professionell.net/praxis/article20061110018.aspx
[2] http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=2974144

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