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Bug#479080: debian-policy: Policy '3.8 Essential packages' does not explain when/why essential is neccessary

Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 05, 2008 at 06:25:14PM +0200, Giacomo A. Catenazzi wrote:
>> Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> On Fri, 02 May 2008 17:45:30 +0200, Carl Fürstenberg <azatoth@gmail.com>
>>> said:
>>>> Policy section 3.8, about essential packages, doesn't explain when/why
>>>> essential is neccessary, only that it should not be essential if it's
>>>> not necessary.
>>>         My understanding is that a package is Essential if without it is
>>>  impossible to install any more packages to the system -- that is, the
>>>  package is required for proper functioning of dpkg. If my understanding
>>>  is correct, it should be easy to add in a line about when packages can
>>>  be made Essential.
>> In addition "Essential" is also used not full dependencies with
>> "obvious" packages. (Policy 3.5)
> This is not part of the rationale for a package's inclusion in Essential,
> it's an effect of a package's inclusion in Essential.
> Packages should only be in the Essential set if they have to be there to
> guarantee the operation of dpkg.

I'm not so sure.
Or better, I agree the first paragraph
(a package will become "Essential" if it is need by dpkg),
but I really think that the second part it is wrong:

I don't think we should remove "easily" the
essential status from a package.
Packages expect essential package to be installed,
without requiring dependencies, so a lot of package
will broke on removal of some essential.

I think policy should include a incomplete list of
"essential" package, because of the "side effect"
(no dependencies on essential package).



>From Klecker ( http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=50832 ):
[1] Essential means that the package does not need to be depended on
(essential does not seem to be guaranteed to work for implicit
Pre-Depends), however the thing that bash provides that is "essential" is

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