man-db without cache update (no cron or systemd *.timer)

Jan Chaloupka jchaloup at
Thu Oct 16 11:34:51 UTC 2014

On 10/16/2014 12:56 PM, Vít Ondruch wrote:
> Dne 16.10.2014 v 10:35 Jan Chaloupka napsal(a):
>> Forwarding Colin's response
>> =================================
>> On Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 09:47:41AM -0500, Chris Adams wrote:
>>> Once upon a time, Jan Chaloupka <jchaloup at> said:
>>>> there has been a discussion about if we need cache for man-db for
>>> users
>>>> which use man pages or update system only from time to time and thus
>>>> don't need to update cache every day. man-db as it is now depends on
>>>> systemd which brings another set of packages. The use case is "I just
>>>> want to read man page. So I install man which on the other hand
>>> download
>>>> another set of packages. I want to read man page and it downloads
>>> systemd.".
>> Have you considered installing the timer file, but without the
>> dependency?  If systemd is there, it could use it, otherwise not.  That
>> would make a whole lot more sense to me than creating another package,
>> and would be my recommendation.

This did not crossed my mind.

> Actually that is good idea IMO. The %post script could silently fail if
> no systemd is no the system.

Agree with Vita, this sound very good to me. Made a test build and it is 
working fine.
Now the installation is much more smaller:

  Package      Arch    Version Repository                       Size
  man-db       x86_64 /man-db-  
1.7 M
Installing for dependencies:
  less         x86_64  458-13.fc21 fedora 125 k
  libpipeline  x86_64  1.3.0-4.fc21 fedora 49 k

Transaction Summary
Install  1 Package (+2 Dependent packages)

Total size: 1.9 M
Installed size: 2.0 M

   man-db.x86_64 0:

Dependency Installed:
   less.x86_64 0:458-13.fc21          libpipeline.x86_64 0:1.3.0-4.fc21

>>> On the majority of systems these days, is it really an issue to cache
>>> man pages anymore?
>> That's not what the timer unit in question is for!  It updates the
>> database of which manual pages are present and their descriptions, not
>> rendered pages.  You need it for apropos and whatis to work.
>> (I would also recommend arranging to update the database any time
>> packages that ship manual pages are installed or removed, but I don't
>> know whether this is a straightforward thing to do with your package
>> management infrastructure.  In Debian we do this with dpkg triggers.)
> %triggerin and %triggerun probably can't achieve this, but RPM plugin
> could do that.
>>> Maybe the time has come to just stop caching man pages at all, or at
>>> least make that functionality optional (and non-default)?
>> It's been optional for many years, is I believe generally off in Fedora
>> given that you don't install mandb set-id, and is unrelated to this
>> issue.
>> Cheers,

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