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Re: Moving bash from essential/required to important?

On Mon, Apr 04, 2011 at 06:04:20PM +0200, Luk Claes wrote:

> bash is not the default system shell anymore. It's now only the default
> user shell. As such it is not required for a sysadmin to boot and
> install software. Besides that some users would like to get rid of bash
> in their environment which is obviously not easily done atm.

> The most obvious reason to not degrade bash to Priority: important is
> obviously that one needs to declare a dependency on bash when it's used
> in a package. Which means quite some packages will need to be changed.

> What do others think of moving bash to important (required and important
> are part of the base system)?

I think we should avoid doing this for quite a different reason from the
other responders.

Consider that 'base-passwd' and 'login' are also part of the essential set.
Why?  Because being able to log in as root is part of the "minimal set of
functionality that must be available and usable on the system at all times".

So if we drop bash from essential, how do we guarantee that root can log in? 
Do we set root's default shell to /bin/sh instead?  I don't think anyone
would be happy with that except those people who already change it to zsh
anyway.  :-)

If login worked consistently in the face of the configured shell going
missing (automatically falling back to /bin/sh for root), then I think it
would be worthwhile to do the work necessary to remove bash from the
essential set.  But until then, the primary purpose of Essential, to me, is
the "minimal set guaranteed to be usable" aspect, not the "you don't have to
depend on it" aspect.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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