[Pkg-xfce-devel] Bug#506406: xfce4: apt bug causes gdm to pull in unneeded/unwanted gnome dependencies

Daniel Dickinson cshore at bmts.com
Wed Jan 7 00:19:32 UTC 2009

On Tue, 06 Jan 2009 23:48:37 +0100
Yves-Alexis Perez <corsac at debian.org> wrote:

> On mar, 2009-01-06 at 16:06 -0500, Daniel Dickinson wrote:
> > Perhaps it's only when one tries to install xfce after doing a
> > standard
> > install and not when using an xfce cd  (that's when it showed up for
> > me).  So probably tasksel is fine, the problem is that if you
> > apt-get or aptitude|select task, then it pulls in the stuff.
> > Nautilus and that
> > are only probably only pulled in because of recommends when
> > installing after-the-fact and gnome-session is a bug in aptitude
> > and apt.  
> Wait. It's been days that we look for a bug at install time.
> If you want to install xfce *after* that, just use apt-get install
> xfce4 xfce4-goodies. 
> If you want the task, then yes use aptitude install xfce-desktop
> You can manually tweak the command line to say that you don't want
> gnome-session or whatever. And I don't think apt-get can install tasks

Right.  The point is that if you don't know that, when you try to
install from a standard system, say after using a netinst image, you
can't do the obvious thing and run aptitude and select the xfce task,
nor can you apt-get the list of packages that would be in the task
unless you are very careful to xfce4-session before gdm.

> directly so the bug only triggers when you do that with aptitude.

No.  It triggers if gdm is before xfce4-session on the apt-get command
line as well.  
> Anyway, I'm *really* lost about where we are, what the problem really
> is, and what exactly we are wanting to do to solve it.

I'm sorry about that.  I thought you brought up tasksel because of
testing you did.  I do believe I mentioned that it happened with
apt-get and aptitude in the bug report; I never claimed tasksel was

To summarize:

1) Install a standard system (say from netboot, netinst, or because you
only have regular CD #1 not the xfce CD #1)

2) You want xfce installed, now what?

2a) Using aptitude interactively by select Task|Xfce Desktop
   gnome-session is pulled in along with nautilus and other gnome
2a.1) you can avoid some of this if you know that you need to say
2a.2) To avoid gnome-session (which is pulled in by gdm) you have to
manually deselect it (and know that it's there, rather than being
surprised by it later as I was - in my case because my $HOME had
originally been used for GNOME and was later converted to XFCE when I
did a reinstall I had a system that wouldn't start the desktop because
gnome-session instead of xfce-session was starting) 

2b) aptitude from the command-line:
   I haven't tried this yet because I didn't know about it; presumably
using tasks like tasksel -t emits will work

2c) apt-get from the command-line:
  Suffers from the same problem as 2a unless you make sure that
xfce4-session is *before* gdm. It's also not as easy because you need
to know that packages you want installed

2d) tasksel
 * Need to set tasksel/desktop to xfce
 * Don't know if it'll work correctly or not given Frans statement that
tasksel isn't meant to be used this way.

> Frans: basically, you were not really involved in the loop, sorry,
> that's not d-i related in any way. We don't need to change anything in
> tasks for Lenny, so we stay with gdm and it'll be fine.

Maybe Frans can suggest something about tasksel that would make this

What it comes down do to is that none of the tools that ought to make
this easy work right.

aptitude has a bug
apt-get has a bug
taskel doesn't support xfce as a desktop choice unless you use the xfce
cd, which is a bug IMO

Ideally one could use tasksel after setting the desktop to xfce.

Frans: would that work?  How difficult is adding a debconf question for
the desktop (which would default to gnome in d-i?)

Frans: also are you the one to talk to about tasksel?


And that's my crabbing done for the day.  Got it out of the way early, 
now I have the rest of the afternoon to sniff fragrant tea-roses or 
strangle cute bunnies or something.   -- Michael Devore
GnuPG Key Fingerprint 86 F5 81 A5 D4 2E 1F 1C      http://gnupg.org
The C Shore: http://www.wightman.ca/~cshore
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