How about an XB-Meta-Package: dummy package field?

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at
Fri Feb 15 19:49:34 UTC 2013

On Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 02:20:46PM -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> >So it could be like:
> >  "dummy" -- no files, can be safely removed, don't display in most 
> >tools, remove at release upgrade time, should be in oldlibs section
> >  "meta" -- no files, but depends on one or more other packages, 
> >possibly prefer showing in software center to the depended packages

> Don't we already have Section: metapackages. Between that and oldlibs,
> why do we need more?

> Also, for actual metapackages, I'm pretty sure displaying the depends
> instead is not what we'd want.

Section: metapackages has a very specific meaning wrt the package manager
(/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/01autoremove): any package in this section has its
*dependencies* marked as manually installed, such that they're never
accidentally autoremoved.  Care should be taken not to overload this section
with metapackages that we don't want to have the same semantics.

I do think the existing oldlibs section already covers the 'dummy' case, at

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                          
slangasek at                                     vorlon at
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