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Re: Problems installing Netscape

Bruce Sass <bsass@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca> writes:

> On 29 Jun 2000, Gary Hennigan wrote:
> > Nitebirdz <nitebirdz@uswest.net> writes:
> > > Just one more little question, since I'm new to Debian.  How can I notice
> > > which packages are virtual and which other are not?  
> > 
> > Hmm. There are very few "virtual" packages. That's the only one I've
> Everything listed when you do "grep Provides: /var/lib/dpkg/status" is a
> virtual package (some just happen to have the same name as real
> packages, or so it could be argued ;).

Just to add my 2 yen.

The original article was about installing netscape4 on slink (Debian
2.1).  At that time, you could not distribute binaries of netscape, so
the Debian maintainer provided an installer package.  For these, you
typically have to get the source or binary from the original site and
the installer package will then install it conforming Debian policy
and do whatever other Debian packages do (track dependencies, set up
configuration files, etc.).

This is not the same as a virtual package.  A virtual package provides
functionality that can be satisfied by several real packages.  As a
matter of fact, netscape provides the virtual package www-browser, but
it is not the only one that does.  Others that come to mind are: lynx,
emacs20, mozilla, w3m, arena, gzilla, chimera2 and links.  Note that
there is no package called www-browser.

Virtual packages need no special handling, dpkg (or dselect, apt-get)
will take care of things.  Installer packages are usually in non-free
(and maybe in contrib).

Hope that helps,
Olaf Meeuwissen       Epson Kowa Corporation, Research and Development

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