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Re: osabi and x11-links: for NetBSD only, or other (quasi-)Unixes also?

At Mon, 31 Jan 2011 06:12:42 -0500,
Greg Troxel <> wrote:
> "Thomas Mueller" <> writes:
> > I wonder how other OSes and other package managers, or lack of package
> > manager, get along without osabi.
> In Linux it seems to be some combination of having the kernel and
> include files in a package and difficulty updating.  My hazy impression
> is that people who run Linux need to reinstall from scratch every few
> years.

To be fair, it's not always that bad.  Debian does a pretty good job
of enforcing the (implicit) dependency of all packages on the core
"Essential" packages (including the kernel).  I'm hazy on the details,
but I think the basic idea is that any given Debian version has a
specified ABI (linux kernel version) and there are solid tools for
upgrading the system across Debian versions.  The dependence on the
Essential packages is usually kept implicit specifically in order to
allow automated handling of the transition between ABIs:

I've never heard of *needing* to reinstall from scratch to upgrade a
Debian system across Linux kernel versions, though I'm sure some
people do (heck, I used to do that on FreeBSD, before I learned to
make world).

That said, I still prefer the osabi package mechanism.  It seems
simpler, requires less infrastructure, and when it occasionally forces
lots of packages to be rebuilt I consider that it's doing its job.

Ian Leroux

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