[ubuntu-uk] Issues with APT installing dependencies?

Colin Watson cjwatson at ubuntu.com
Thu Nov 15 05:27:45 GMT 2007

On Tue, Nov 13, 2007 at 09:44:09PM +0000, Matthew Macdonald-Wallace wrote:
> Admittedly, I've never tried to package something for .deb before (I was
> an avid Gentoo user who got bored with watching the software compile
> before I came to Ubuntu!) so it may be something to do with this, it
> just seems a bit strange that if I'm installing what appears to be a
> LAMP stack, apt doesn't allow you to load everything it requires.

apt is merely the package management system; it doesn't make policy
decisions. (Or, to put it another way, it's just the messenger.)
phpgroupware Suggests phpgroupware-email (and other modules), so it's
not mandatory. apt does what it's told and doesn't install it by
default. If phpgroupware wanted a stronger dependency so that apt would
install it by default, it could use Recommends (at least as of hardy) or
Depends. A Depends is stronger and would also prevent you from
uninstalling the depended-upon package.

If you use a more intelligent apt frontend rather than simply apt-get,
you should be prompted for suggested packages. Your mistake may be
simply that you're using too low-level tools which don't try to help you
out as much.

> The portage system allows you to specify certain flags in /etc/make.conf
> (although it may have now moved!) as follows:
> USE="apache2 mysql -X ldap imap"
> The above would allow me to install a complete lampstack along with the
> servers required for the DB connections and LDAP/IMAP cx simply by
> typing 
> # emerge -av modphp5
> is there anything similar under ubuntu?

Well, you won't find things in the same terms; binary package systems
work quite differently. At the discretion of the maintainer, optional
features may be packaged separately.

However, in the case you quote, you can certainly achieve much the same
effect since I believe all the necessary components are quite strongly
modularised. Install the apache2, mysql-server, php5-mysql, php5-ldap,
and php5-imap packages; then future system upgrades will preserve this.

(For a prepackaged LAMP server, you may want to try 'sudo tasksel
install lamp-server', which happens to fill some of your needs right off
the bat.)


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at ubuntu.com]

More information about the ubuntu-uk mailing list