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Re: busybox

On Wed, 12 Sep 2007 18:22:25 -0700
"K. Richard Pixley" <rich.pixley@access-company.com> wrote:

> I'm confused about the busybox package.  I mean, I'm familiar with 
> busybox and it's applications.  However, I'm wondering...
> If there a reason why busybox should not be packaged in such a way as to 
> provide a mutually exclusive alternative with the packages that it 
> supplants such as coreutils? 

One reason is that busybox doesn't come with an 'uninstall' option,
just an install. I've been bitten by that many times. It's a bit of a
fiddle finding the busybox versions and removing them. It is probably
safer to not activate busybox by default than to risk an imperfect
uninstall script in postrm that leaves the system with a damaged
coreutils setup. Reinstalling coreutils won't always fix the issue

(For the uninitiated, you install the busybox package then run an
install command on the system and it is this that puts the busybox
executable in place so that it replaces the functionality of 'ls' etc.
the difficulty is that precisely which commands get replaced is
entirely down to the configuration chosen by the user *prior* to
running the install command.)

I guess the second reason is that configuration step - it allows
busybox to be customised prior to activation but I may be wrong on
that. Have you asked the busybox maintainer?

> It seems to me that intuitively, the 
> busybox package should do exactly that, yet the package we have now does 
> not.

Emdebian certainly needs busybox to work that way - I'm guessing that
the busybox maintainer expects that kind of functionality from a
busybox-udeb. (Which, IIRC, busybox can build.)


Neil Williams

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