Should foreign Priority: Required + Multi-Arch: same packages be installed by default with any foreign package?

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Mon Mar 5 05:26:47 UTC 2012

On Sunday, March 04, 2012 08:02:48 PM Scott Ritchie wrote:
>  is a bug
> where Wine breaks because it doesn't have the i386 libncurses5, but only
> on amd64.  libncurses5 has never been an explicit depends of Wine,
> because it's always been on the system anyway - it wasn't until users
> were installing i386 Wine on an amd64 system that it became possible to
> not have the library.
> I imagine there will be similar cases like this in the future, as a lot
> of packages (correctly) assume that required packages are available.  I
> believe even debhelper won't autogenerate dependencies on them.
> So, I suggest:
>  - If the user is installing a foreign arch package
>  - and there are uninstalled priority:required packages for that arch
>  - and these packages are also installed on the system
>  - and these packages are marked multi-arch: same
> Then they should be treated as Recommends and installed automatically.
> Thoughts?  Too late to do this for Precise?

libncurses5 is not essential, so it seems like a simple case of missing 
depends.  Making the assumption that transitive dependency resolution will 
bring in packages your package needs via another package depends is a bug.

Scott K

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