Subject: Re: ports FLAVORS on pkgsrc (and postfix)
To: Christian Biere <>
From: Steven M. Bellovin <>
List: pkgsrc-users
Date: 01/25/2007 17:03:53
On Thu, 25 Jan 2007 22:55:18 +0100
Christian Biere <> wrote:

> > I don't want source on every box, except maybe to let me read
> > certain files.
> I assume Debian users are equally confused which is why they believe
> in this in the first place. All the -dev packages usually omit are
> *header* files. /usr/include has 13 MiB here, /usr/pkg/include has 15
> MiB and now look at the average disk size nowadays. 200 GiB? Do you
> really think it's worth an hour of googling, updating backwards,
> forwards until your system is completely trashed to save this little
> amount of diskspace?

That's the wrong question.  I'm concerned with how to run thousands of
NetBSD boxes, in a production environment.  These might be embedded
boxes, desktops, or servers.  Building from source on each machine is
*not* the way to go.  It isn't a matter of me -- or the Debian users
you're referring to -- being "confused", it's a matter of different

I agree that for many situations, saving 15MB isn't important (though
of course for embedded systems it is).  What's important is the ability
to maintain a system without it.
> > Why should my little Soekris gateway need source, when it
> > doesn't even have a compiler?  It doesn't even have enough RAM for
> > one, nor does it have a disk to swap to.
> Is Debian suitable for tiny embedded systems? Hardly. You need a
> special distro or installation for that anyway. Debian is for servers
> and desktops.
I'm not sure what your point is here.  The package system needs to
accommodate a wide range.

		--Steve Bellovin,