Subject: Re: PROPOSAL: NetBSD System Packages (LONG)
To: Hubert Feyrer <>
From: Jonathan Stone <jonathan@DSG.Stanford.EDU>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 09/30/1998 07:59:20
>1. can we please keep this in tech-install? Thanks!
>   (I'm crossposting so everyone gets this)

Seconded, if thats what the pkg people want. [same reason.]  i wouldnt
mind Cc:,s though, since IIRC i'm not on tech-install anymore.

>On Wed, 30 Sep 1998, Simon Burge wrote:
>> > I think the set contents file should only contain information that can
>> > be automagically gathered from each package's pkg/* files...
>> I think I disagree with you here.  From a sysinst point of view, I'd say
>> we need to know the total installed size of each package, and that isn't
>> available in the pkg/* files.

>this is not available, but there are various patches flying arount either
>to merge a @size tag into the +CONTENTS file of a pkg (making this even
>able to query for ftp://-packages, i.e. if you install via ftp; IMHO a
>major win) or by adding a +SIZE file. 

Um.  I think maybe this _does_ overlap with pkg formats, at least if
we want to use the identical same format for pkgs and pkg-sets.

I'm not sure if its possible to accurately check pkgs or pkgsets for
disk-space constraints, short of unpacking the pkg and checking
_every_ file (who knows how much symlink/NFS damage a sysadmin might
do under /usr?).

On the install side the case we care about most is the naive users,
and itd be very nice to warn them if their disks arent quite big
enough for the sets they've chosen.  Ideally we'd want to do that
before unpacking the basic `base' set, so the user can resize
partitions and start again without too much trouble.

I think that means we want an idea of the total size of each of the
sets (not pkgs) before we start unpacking them.

And the compiled-in lists of files, and _particularly_ sets split itno
floppy-images is one of the nastiest things to get right in
sysinst. (we dont always know for sure now many floppies a set will
take until after the BETA gets frozen.)  So It'd be nice if we could
wrap up the "meta-info" in a file that sysinst could read in and
parse, rather than compiling it all in.

I'm thinking of something sort of like a PLIST, but for the entire
contents of a reelase(7) binary/sets/ dir. It'd describe what pkg-sets
files are there, whether they're "optional" (installation can be
toggled off by the user), whether they're split, and if so, how many
split files to look for. _and_ how big they are.

(We probably want compiled-in defaults just to be safe, but being able
to over-ride them sounds like a win to me. You could do a
minor-release upgrade via FTP just by running your old sysinst from
single-user, giving it the new release number on the command line...)

Split pkgs don't sound compelling, but some portmasters have (had?)
decided that split sets are.

Anyway, this is getting way beyond what Jim wanted....