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Re: [alpine-devel] RFC: Introducing tools-base meta package

From: A. Wilcox <>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:19:48 -0600

On 02/12/18 03:19, Przemysław Pawełczyk wrote:
> Hi, Alpiners!
> What would you say about introducing new meta packages:
> - tools-base - depending on busybox for now,
> - tools-base-initscripts - depending on busybox-initscripts for now?
> After introducing they could replace busybox and busybox-initscripts as
> dependencies of alpine-base.
> (Maybe provides="/bin/sh" should be moved from busybox to tools-base
> then, not sure yet.)

/bin/sh should be provided by a splitpackage of busybox (like
busybox-sh). This way it can be changed without changing the tools

This is what we do in Adélie; we have bash-binsh, busybox-binsh,
dash-binsh, zsh-binsh. (The latter two are not recommended but there
for the people who want to experiment.)

I do like the idea of making base tools a virtual. It would certainly
make my job easier! :)

> - mawk
> It's "an interpreter for the AWK Programming Language".
> It will possibly allow to make some packages depend on it instead of
> gawk.
> I believe A. Wilcox can share details why it's better than busybox's
> awk, after dealing with it in Adelie Linux.

mawk has wider compatibility for some awk constructs than BusyBox awk.
I am unfortunately not sure exactly which constructs BB doesn't have as
I've never looked at the source, and my notes about that are long gone.

I can say that Adélie doesn't even *ship* gawk. We replaced all
references to gawk with mawk locally with no ill effects. Note we don't
ship the entire main and community repos so I am not advocating gawk's
removal in Alpine. I am however advocating replacing it with mawk
wherever it makes sense.

Alpine edge gawk-4.2.0-r0 installed size:

Adélie alpha4 mawk-20161120-r1 installed size:

All the best,

A. Wilcox (awilfox)
Project Lead, Adélie Linux

Received on Mon Feb 12 2018 - 11:19:48 UTC