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Re: Investigating internals of Debian packages

On 06/11/2020 06:24 AM, The Wanderer wrote:
On 2020-06-11 at 07:03, Richard Owlett wrote:

I'm interested in the installer  menu titled "Software Selection". I
want to know explicitly what happens when "Debian desktop
environment" and/or "MATE" is checked.

If you want to know the specific sequence of coded actions, you'll have
to look at the source of that menu,

That was what I wanted. I had seen task-mate-desktop before and I'm not seeing what I expected from what I installed and how I did the installation *THIS TIME*. I'll have to try to reproduce a former installation.

Will not have opportunity at least until tomorrow.
Thank you to you and others who responded.

which I expect is part of
debian-installer. (And possibly follow up from there to look in other
places, depending on what that source shows.)

If you just want to know more generally, look at the output of the

$ apt-cache search ^task-

As I understand matters, the things which can be selected for
installation during the Debian installer bootstrap process are called
"tasks", and every single one has a corresponding package whose name
begins with 'task-'. The descriptions of those packages match (and are
probably the origin of) the entries in that menu.

These packages then depend on a selection of other packages, which
actually contain the files necessary to provide the thing selected. As
far as I know, these task-* packages don't contain any files of their
own, other than a single file each under /usr/share/doc/.

In particular, "Debian desktop environment" corresponds to the package
'task-desktop', and "MATE" corresponds to the package

The step-by-step actions which happen to get each selected package and
its dependencies installed (including such details as whether Recommends
are treated as important, and whether something is done to cause the
depended-on packages to be marked as manually installed) I do not know;
if I wanted to find out, then as above, I'd have to investigate
debian-installer itself.

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