[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Bug#497304: general: packages cannot be partially installed

Package: general
Severity: wishlist

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, 

etc, etc.

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

Reply to: