Bug#497304: general: packages cannot be partially installed
There is an annoying flaw in the design of the Debian package management
system, which means that packages cannot be partially installed. This
limits the flexibility of Debian based systems when it comes to mixed
installations or installation on embedded or resource constrained
For any particular package, the full set of binary components, optional
documentation, and unused foreign language support files will be installed
by the package management system.
This flaw also means that components of bundled packages, such as the
coreutils suite cannot be individually selected or omitted. This is
particularly annoying if the system installer wants to replace one of
the components with a customized version.
A fix would be to make it possible to select individual files for
installation from within a package.
Other work includes splitting packages into daughter packages, the
parent package being dependent on all daughters, but allowing the option
of just selecting individual daughter packages,
eg: coreutils depends on coreutils-fileutils and
coreutils-fileutils depends on coreutils-fileutils-head,
Possibly introduce a packaging policy (this is a draft):
Each stand alone binary file should be individually packaged, rather
than bundled with other stand alone binary files.
It is policy that internationalized (non-english) components are
packaged separately to the core package. For example, a package foobar,
would have its french documentation in a separate foobar-fr package.
Packages should not install cruft on the system. This means that a
package should not install a foreign language file, unless the system
has been explicitly configured to support that foreign language.
-- System Information:
Debian Release: lenny/sid
APT prefers testing
APT policy: (500, 'testing')
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Kernel: Linux 2.6.25-2-486
Locale: LANG=en_GB.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_GB.UTF-8 (charmap=locale: Cannot set LC_CTYPE to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_MESSAGES to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or directory
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash