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Re: Attempting a VERY minimal install (using --no-install-recommends ;)

On 04/26/2019 04:24 AM, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
Quoting Richard Owlett (2019-04-24 19:36:29)
I'm attempting a very minimal install because:
1. small size in and of itself is a good goal
2. fending for oneself is a valuable educational experience compared
     to having everything handed to you on a "golden platter" {Debian's
     default installer}

My current experiments revolve around defining my personal take on a
minimal MATE desktop. Part of the motivation is that some recommended
packages clash with ones I wish to use. Just removing offending packages
after the fact is unaesthetic.

My test machine has both a default install from DVD 1 and my minimalist
install. I had done a standard install without specifying any GUI or
extra packages.

My base setup was installed by doing
    apt-get --no-install-recommends install task-mate-desktop
    apt-get install pluma gparted synaptic

I share your interest in installing minimal systems without the deroute
of first installing too much and then removing unwanted parts.

I understand from your subject that you deliberately chose to explore
first creating a broken system and then attempt to unbreak it.

It's not so much that I intentionally "broke" the system but I eliminated the "noise" of a set of sub-optimal permutation of recommends.

[One thing I've not sufficiently explored is the formal procedure/logic of recommending a particular package.]

The experiment met a preliminary goal. Using only *depends* does yield a "working", if not "productive", system. Rather than being a "broken" system, I think of what I have as a "skeleton" that needs "flesh".

For the record, there's another (at least to me) more sensible approach
of explicitly skipping packages you don't want - e.g. like this:

   apt-get install task-mate-desktop libreoffice- libreoffice-gtk3-

I just re-read the apt-get man page. I assume that is applying:
If a hyphen is appended to the package name (with no intervening
space), the identified package will be removed if it is installed.
I'd read that before but never seen an example of it before. I'll have to think on its implications for some vague ideas I've had.

Personally I use aptitude in fullscreen mode (i.e. run "aptitude" with
no non-option arguments) to explore package relations (dependencies,
recommendations, suggests, and enancements) interactively.

"aptitude --show-XXX" may be what I've been looking for. Can you recommend article/tutorial/examples I should read.

When I then have a set of explicit package selections possibly with
explicit recommendation suppressions, I save those as classes for the
tool "boxer" for reuse across many different larger system compositions.

I found https://wiki.debian.org/Boxer . Is there more extensive documentation/examples?

If anyone is interested in collaborating on that approach, I welcome you
to join the Debian Tinker project: https://wiki.debian.org/DebianTinker

All it lacks is internet connectivity.

Unless you examined _every_ ignored recommendation and confirmed that
indeed you did not need it, you must mean "...known so far"!

<SNICKER><grin> That meant only that the lack of internet connectivity was preventing me from my planned activities. That lack was due to an error.