Installing a compiler by default

Matt Galvin matt.t.galvin at
Fri Jun 9 21:20:09 BST 2006

On 6/8/06, Matt Zimmerman <mdz at> wrote:
> I would like to propose that, beginning in Edgy, Ubuntu desktop systems
> (both live and installed) should, by default, include the set of packages
> necessary to compile simple C programs and Linux kernel modules.

My personal (gut developer) feeling is yes include it, but this is
largely because I always install it anyway (along with a bunch of
other stuff).

>  * A common reason to install a new driver on a Linux system is to gain
>    access to the Internet, so support can be difficult to obtain in such a
>    scenario
>  * build-essential and linux-headers are already included on Ubuntu CDs, so
>    they would not occupy more space if installed by default

These seem a little contradictory to me in a way. Since this stuff is
on the CD users don't need net access to get them anyway in which case
they just need the driver which they have to get on their own anyway.
Sure it is easier for them if it is already installed but if they know
enough to know they need to compile a driver for some random specific
device we are already starting to talk about people who can be
instructed to install the necessary packages (more often then not). I
very much understand the volatility of the situation and how easily
people can give up and move on but that is an issue on an individual
level which I don't think we can address simply by having gcc
installed :-/.

>  * Most users don't need a compiler

They don't.

>  * We should solve the same problems in more elegant ways where possible


There have been many reasons given for and against it, all I can
really say is...

Would "I", as a developer, like to seem them installed, sure, even
though it is only a small part of the equation when building

I do not, however, think that the vast majority of users *need* it.

So I guess my finial option of 1 for a few against is, no. Don't
install them by default. It's not *necessary* party b/c they are
readily available on the CD.



Matt T. Galvin
mgalvin on
Ubuntu Documentation Team Member

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