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Re: Reducing disk space on Grip

On Fri, 6 Aug 2010 10:04:59 +0200
Carsten Hey <carsten@debian.org> wrote:

>   * Provide debconf-english and install it by default.

That's not very friendly to non-english speakers but it would be supportable if you chose to modify the multistrap config to specify debconf-english explicitly. I'll add debconf-english to the repository.
>     useless dependencies saves 135kB disk space (or 94.2kB if you 

Not much, overall.

>   * Disable apt's cache.

Use --tidy-apt to remove these files at the initial multistrap stage and in the final tarball. The first 'apt-get update' will put them back.
>     The size of /var/cache/apt/pkgcache.bin and srcpkgcache.bin is more
>     than one MB with only Grip/Lenny in the sources.list and even more
>     with additional entries.  The advantage of keeping this cache would
>     be a faster startup of apt.

No, it's more than that - it is the ability to query the apt cache whilst offline. As a default, 1Mb is a fair price. (If 1Mb makes a difference to your Grip system, you should be looking at Baked.)
>     A file /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99nocache-emdebian with the content
>     'Dir "/" { Cache "var/cache/apt/" { srcpkgcache ""; pkgcache ""; } }'
>     is sufficient to disable this cache.  Since apt can't remove 

Supportable via the config script which can be specified in the multistrap config. This is not suitable as a default option.

>   * Don't install man-db and groff-base by default.

That breaks binary-compatibility with Debian because you will be unable to install packages from Debian without using apt-grip. This cannot be supported as a default. There isn't a way to exclude certain packages which are Priority: required, mainly because this would require being able to chroot into the filesystem, run apt-get --purge remove; apt-get --purge autoremove.

You can specify omitrequired in the multistrap config but then you would need to include all Priority: required packages *except* the ones you want and their dependencies.

This is implicit in the way Debian works - it is another price of binary compatibility.

>   * Don't install orphaned libraries.
>     I found eight orphaned libraries: libsysfs2, liblzo2-2, libsasl2-2,
>     libgnutls26, libpcre3, libgcrypt11, libtasn1-3 and libgpg-error0.
>     Purging these packages saved 1987kB disk space.

Orphaned libraries can only be detected after the installation but I'll take a look at those specific cases and see if there is a reason why these are being included.

>     Providing deborphan and/or debfoster (one depends only on libc6, the
>     other additionally depends on libgc1c2) in the archive would make it
>     easier for users to find such orphaned libraries.

I can add deborphan to Grip.
> After running apt-get clean && apt-get update in the newly created
> Grip/Lenny chroot "du -sbx /" printed 66524376, after these simple
> optimizations it printed 60655071.  Of course it would be easy to
> further reduce the size of the chroot, but the most obvious ways are
> removing packages that are usable without installing additional ones.
> One could argue that the package selection is way better when multistrap
> is used instead of debootstrap (I don't know if it is, but I guess so);

Not by default, no. A vanilla Lenny is a vanilla Lenny - for compatibility reasons. The package selection should be the same *except* that we turn off Recommends.

> I think that it should be as easy as possible for people to do their
> first steps in emdebian and to accomplish impressive results 

That is why man-db needs to be retained and why debconf-i18n should also be retained - we cannot assume that new people have English as their first language.


Neil Williams

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