Subject: Re: ports FLAVORS on pkgsrc (and postfix)
To: None <>
From: Christian Biere <>
List: pkgsrc-users
Date: 01/26/2007 16:59:31
Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
> Christian Biere <> wrote:
> > > I don't want source on every box, except maybe to let me read
> > > certain files.

> >  Do you really think it's worth [...] 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.

Yes, but that's completely orthogonal. Just having the headers lying around is
not going to cause you any trouble. Occassionally you might need them because
you have locally-maintained software or want to integrate a source-only patch.
Yes, I know in many scenarios you really don't need this. You probably don't
need 70% of the tools or files that come with the OS in those either.

> It isn't a matter of me -- or the Debian users you're referring to -- being
> "confused", it's a matter of different goals.

It is definitely misleading to call packages "-dev" or "-devel" giving the
false impression that these variants are for developers. If there's a clean way
to add/remove headers or documentation that's fine. As far as I can see,
it's not that simple with those distros because those are actually different
packages which may have different dependencies and occasionally you'll have
to upgrade/downgrade and run into major trouble. They're not just slicing some
files away. (Their are manual ways to avoid this but that's beside the point.)
In any case, these headers are managed just like any other files of the package,
so other than wasted diskspace, I don't see the disadvantage.

My point is that the default should be installing fully functional packages and
not crippled variants. I for one would hate to see pkgsrc omitting header files
by default.

If I wanted an operating system that comes without a compiler, without any
sources/headers and no useful documentation, I know where to get it.