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Re: packages being essential but having stuff in /usr/?!

On 2010-07-14 17:36 +0200, Christoph Anton Mitterer wrote:

> I wonder why this never came up before,.. or did it an I'm just blind?

It's been reported as bug #428189 already, but without any followup.
See also #532324.

> I've just read parts of POSIX, where echo is more or less deprecated in
> favour of printf
> (http://www.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/9699919799/utilities/echo.html#tag_20_37_16).
> Whether users will do this or not is a different question but I've seen
> that Debian/corutils ships echo in /bin, but printf in /usr/bin.

This is indeed a problem if /bin/sh has no printf builtin, but it does
not affect people who use dash or bash.

> The same for many other binaries part of coreutils.
> Now coreutils is marked as essential, right?!

So is dpkg, and it lives almost completely under /usr, except for

> This means per policy section 3.8
> (http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-binary.html#s3.8):
> "Essential is defined as the minimal set of functionality that must be
> available and usable on the system at all times"
> As far as I understand,.. it's fully ok, to have /usr on a separate
> (i.e. non-root-) filesystem. 
> That however would mean, that even outsite initramfs images (which are
> probably a special case and do not count) many of corutils' binaries are
> not _always_ available.

Before /usr is mounted, yes.

> People would again have to check for them in e.g. their initscripts, or
> basically everything before /usr is mounted, e.g. via NFS.

Only init scripts that do not depend on $remote_fs have to do this check.

> The same might be a problem with other essential packages, too.

I have /usr on a separate partition and did not have any problems in the
last few years with that.  Don't know how the situation is with /usr on
NFS, though.


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