Installing a compiler by default

Alan McKinnon alan at
Mon Jun 12 20:07:45 BST 2006

On Monday 12 June 2006 03:53, Florian Diesch wrote:
> I don't think gcc should be installed by default. But I think there
> should be a meta package that installs the packages you need to
> compile kernel modules that doesn't say "If you do not plan to
> build Debian packages, you don't need this package.  Moreover this
> package is not required for building Debian packages." like
> build-essential does. Instead it should have relevant keywords like
> gcc, make, compile etc. in its description so people will find it.

I totally agree with this. I'll cite my own experiences:

I've built an LFS system. Gentoo stage 1 is a walk in the park. I've 
written books on how to work a compiler. And yet on Ubuntu way back 
around Hoary/Breezy I spent the first two hours wondering where gcc 

That it wasn't installed by default didn't bother me in the least. 
Searching for 'gcc' in the package manager turned up only meta 
packages and just when I was about to give up and see if I could 
download it somewhere did my eye catch build-essential.

My point: never in a hundred years would it have occured to me to 
search for a package with 'build' in it's name to get the toolchain. 
"gcc", yes. "binutils", yes. "toolchain", yes.

But never build-essential

If only me, you and dead people understand hex, 
how many people understand hex?

Alan McKinnon
alan at linuxholdings dot co dot za
+27 82, double three seven, one nine three five

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