Bug#528494: vim-tiny: move to /bin?

James Vega jamessan at debian.org
Wed May 13 14:18:30 UTC 2009

On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 10:45:56AM +0100, Colin Watson wrote:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/vim/+bug/372364 requests that
> vim-tiny be available on the root filesystem as a rescue utility. I have
> some sympathy with this: a separate /usr is more likely to be used by at
> least moderately experienced users rather than complete novices, and if
> /usr fails to mount they may well be more comfortable with vi than nano.

This was actually one of the intended features of the vim-tiny package,
but that seems to have been forgotten or lost along the way.

> I'm aware that alternatives handling is rather delicate, though,
> especially in Debian where the vim-tiny package also needs to support
> the Hurd with /usr symlinked to /, so I thought I'd just pass this on to
> you as a wishlist request.

Thanks for mentioning the Hurd consideration.  That's not something I
would have remembered.  At first glance, though, this shouldn't be a
problem as only one vi alternative will be in effect at once regardless
of whether it is under /bin or /usr/bin.

> We probably can't assume either that /bin is in front of /usr/bin on
> $PATH or the other way round, so some care would be needed. What if vim
> is installed so /usr/bin/vi is a symlink to /usr/bin/vim.basic, which
> isn't on /? We wouldn't want /bin/vi to be vim.tiny despite that, since
> that could produce inconsistent results when typing 'vi' in a normal
> environment. Maybe a sensible approach would be to move vim.tiny to
> /bin, but not worry about providing a /bin/vi symlink - people can just
> type vim.tiny if they're in a recovery situation.

I think providing the vi alternative is still fine.  If they've
configured some other Vim package to provide it, though, they'll need to
invoke vim.tiny directly in a recovery situation.  When vim-tiny is
providing the alternative then everything will Just Work as the
alternative will be in /bin.

> In a recovery situation, it probably doesn't matter much that
> /usr/share/vim/ (including /usr/share/vim/vimrc.tiny) would be
> unavailable.


GPG Key: 1024D/61326D40 2003-09-02 James Vega <jamessan at debian.org>
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