reducing 'base' [was Re: Five basic principles ...]

Matthew Miller mattdm at
Thu Sep 2 11:51:15 UTC 2010

On Thu, Sep 02, 2010 at 12:43:53PM +0200, Daniel Mach wrote:
> >> After all, "More with Less" is principle #1. :)
> I'd like to see a versatile distro with sane deps rather than 
> maintaining another branches.

I'd like to explore the idea at least as a thought-experiment for a little
bit further. More on that later today.

> I started with packages required for almost any installation.
> It's only few packages, but it doesn't make sense to move further until 
> at least some of these issues get fixed.
> Goal is to remove dependency cycles and keep deps sane so any user can 
> select packages for his system (regardless it's server or desktop).

This is a valuable goal no matter what we do, and not just for server. Maybe
cc the fedora-mini list?

> glibc
>   - glibc-common requires bash due to:
>     - /usr/bin/catchsegv (/bin/sh)
>     - /usr/bin/tzselect (/bin/bash)
>     - is rewrite to C possible?

If it's just those two programs, yeah. File bugs. A rewrite isn't the only
option, though -- there's no real reason for these particular scripts to be
in this package. (That may go for some of the other binaries in glibc-common

> e2fsprogs
>   - requires only couple libs
>   - probably not needed, but recommended for most installations

I think we need e2fsck at boot time. There's no good way to introduce a dep
based on what filesystems are in use. (And, in any case, we've got lsattr
and chattr here.)

> coreutils - pam dependency cycle
>   - need to break it if possible
>   - pulls a lot of another crap
>   - selinux libs come into play here

Pretty sure we're not booting without this. What's the other crap that gets
pulled in?

Matthew Miller <mattdm at>
Senior Systems Architect -- Instructional & Research Computing Services
Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences

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