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Re: FAQ: Essential vs. Required


Thanks for your feed back.  I read policy manual again and decided to
rewrite this.  After all policy document documents real definition, I
wanted to have simplified outline for the new Debian user to get going.

On Sun, Aug 03, 2003 at 02:49:18AM -0300, Gustavo Noronha Silva wrote:
> After reading that I come to think why would it be impossible to
> make a package 'Essential: yes'. A better explanation of the whys
> would be nice.

That is because we want to remove it easily.  I decided to be implicit
on this but explicitly point out the change in the ease of removal by
having "Essential: yes".

On Sun, Aug 03, 2003 at 12:11:37PM +0200, Santiago Vila wrote:
> makedev, for example, is considered "required", but if you remove it,
> you can easily install it again using dselect/apt, and packages normally
> use MAKEDEV only in maintainer scripts, that's why it's only required
> and not essential.

Yes.  Good example.

> In some sense, "required and essential" is like a priority over
> "just required" (expect that you can have a package of extra priority
> having the essential flag if it conflicts and replaces an essential package).

??? extra priority with essential ???  I do not understand.

Anyway, I decided to rewrite it again as follows:

retrieving revision 1.49
diff -u -r1.49 system.sgml
--- system.sgml 2 Aug 2003 22:55:54 -0000       1.49
+++ system.sgml 6 Aug 2003 20:39:40 -0000
@@ -674,6 +674,17 @@
     with them, or have specialized requirements that make them
     unsuitable for "Optional".
+<p>Please note the differences among "Priority: required", "Section:
+base" and "Essential: yes" in the package description.  "Section: base"
+means that this package is installed before everything else on a new
+system. Most of the packages in "Section: base" will have the "Priority:
+required" or at least "Priority: important", and many of them will be
+tagged with "Essential: yes".  "Essential: yes" means that this package
+requires to specify an extra force option to the package management
+system such as <prgn>dpkg</prgn> when removing from the system.  For
+example, <package>libc6</package>, <package>mawk</package>, and
+<package>makedev</package> are "Priority: required" and "Section: base"
+but are not "Essential: yes".

 <sect1 id="virtual">Virtual packages

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