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Re: [newbie] replacing applications in the Base set?

Dear NetBSD group members,

I am watching this thread not without interest, as I've had the same problem 

I think it is fundamentally a question of transaction costs (and here, I do not 
mean just money, I also mean time, efforts etc.): does it cost you more to get 
the packages with the correct dependencies (which would suggest an immutable 
preinstalled base system) or does it cost you more to have old packages (which 
would suggest the Linux model of having just a kernel)?

This question is of course for everyone to answer to himself. I myself - with 
all due respect to NetBSD - do think though that the Linux model of having just 
a kernel is in fact superior simply because nowadays having a working package 
management system that correctly resolves dependencies etc. is not that 
exceptional. And getting the software is rather easy, too. So we tend not to 
have "once and for all"-installations, but we want to upgrade this and that.

Besides, I believe the choice of what is to be in the base system is being met 
a bit arbitrarily, and tends to being perchance a bit antiquated as a whole. 
("Following traditions", "stability considerations" etc. does not change this.) 
E.g. you do have telnet, ftp, mail, but... why no browser? (I am thinking here 
of something lynx-like.) - This, of course, can get into the infinite, with 
people at the end arguing "why no alternative weather widget for my big 
desktop?"... - And yet, to continue the browser idea, why no browser BUT an 

Kind regards,


-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 20:32:59 -0400
> Von: "Martin S. Weber" <>
> An: Thor Lancelot Simon <>
> CC:
> Betreff: Re: [newbie] replacing applications in the Base set?

> On Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 01:58:14PM -0400, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> > On Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 01:53:13PM -0400, Martin S. Weber wrote:
> > > On Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 01:31:30PM -0400, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> > > > 
> > > > You don't, unless you replace the base set itself.  NetBSD is not a
> > > > kernel, NetBSD is a complete operating system.
> > > 
> > > Well, that's a bit short-sighted, isn't it?
> > 
> > I don't personally think so, but if you want a particular kernel
> > and a random collection of userspace binaries, Gentoo
> > Linux is -------->that way.  
> Hey, no need to insult me.
> > I consider the fact that NetBSD version X
> > always comes with known versions of userspace binaries Y and Z to be
> > a very valuable feature; if you want to also install some other versions
> > of Y and Z, of course, you can always get them from pkgsrc and install
> > them in /usr/pkg.
> I think you didn't read whole of my message. I was only referring to
> "replacing" programs by installing alternatives from pkgsrc into
> localbase and have the base system use those in preference over the
> installed versions in base. Actually if you look at the sum of replies,
> that's what all replies were like. "Change permissions so the usr/pkg
> ones are picked up". "Use pkg_alternatives". "Delete the syspkg of
> pkgsrc-replaced software" etc.
> Regards,
> -Martin

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