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Re: install-info changes

On Tue, 17 Nov 2009, Brian May wrote:
> http://wiki.debian.org/Transitions/DpkgToGnuInstallInfo which says "dpkg ships
> a new /usr/sbin/install-info that will call /usr/bin/install-info with the same
> arguments." However dpkg doesn't appear to depend on install-info, in which case
> how can it be sure /usr/bin/install-info will exist?

dpkg doesn't guarantee that /usr/bin/install-info is installed, but if you
have an info-browser package installed and dpkg >= 1.15.4 then you have
an info-browser that depends on install-info (due to the Breaks: in dpkg).

In other words, install-info is installed if you have package installed
that might use /usr/share/info/dir.

If you really need install-info during the build process, you need to
build-depend on it. But I would rather suggest to use "rm -f" to not fail
if the dir file is not created instead...

> So I consider the possibility that install-info is essential. It isn't. It seems
> though that sed depends on install-info, and sed is essential, which would
> imply install-info is essential too.

Well, that dependency is transient and is added by dh_installinfo to sed.
The dependency is satisfied by dpkg >= 1.15.4 so it doesn't make
install-info essential at all (or at least it should not but apparently
APT is not very smart in that respect).

> Why does apt-get want to remove sed? Doesn't dpkg satisfy the depends?

apt-get doesn't wants to remove install-info due to sed, but indeed
the dep is satisfied by dpkg and hence apt-get should not complain...

> However, despite install-info being "essential" I get a bug report #552677
> which is from install-info not being found by a sbuilder. It appears
> to find the wrapper in dpkg but not the install-info.

install-info is no longer essential and should not be considered as being
part of essentiel set. the wrapper within dpkg will be removed in

> Also the lintian check recommended I do something similar for heimdal-doc in my
> package. How does this dependency ensure install-info is installed if
> the install-info provided by dpkg is just a wrapper to /usr/bin/install-info?

install-info is only needed to create /usr/share/info/dir and the package
using that file should depend on install-info. install-info must not be
installed on all systems but only on systems that have an info-browser

> 2. dpkg bug in that it doesn't depend on install-info.
>   OR
> 2. lintian should recommend Depends: "install-info" not "Depends: dpkg (>= 1.15.4) | install-info", as installing
> dpkg doesn't resolve the dependency on install-info.

Those 2 are definitely not bugs.

Raphaël Hertzog

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