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

Scott Ritchie scott at
Tue Mar 6 05:38:55 UTC 2012

On 03/04/2012 09:26 PM, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> 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

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting the Debian Policy for Priority: Required
packages.  Why does that category even exist if we also have the
Essential tag?

Scott Ritchie

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