What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby bdz » 2017-02-08 19:12

I'd like to setup a minimal Debian system and want to know exactly what packages are in the "Base System" before I start. There must be a list of this somewhere, but I've looked all over and can't find it.

There is a Debian page entitled File list of package linux-base in jessie of architecture all but it lists only eight packages (and five of these are docs and mans). I don't think this can be the full list.

I've come across this questions in a few places, but the only answer I've seen is to use apt to see what's installed on an existing system. I'd like to know about this before I do an installation (I don't have a debian system at present).

thanks
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby arochester » 2017-02-08 19:41

Do you mean Standard System Utilities? http://csmojo.com/posts/what-debian-sta ... clude.html
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby stevepusser » 2017-02-08 20:14

Some websearching leads me to believe it would be the packages listed as Essential or Required in their priorities, which can be listed with a combination of

Code: Select all
dpkg-query -Wf '${Package;-40}${Essential}\n' | grep yes

and
Code: Select all
dpkg-query -Wf '${Package;-40}${Priority}\n' | grep -E "required"
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby bdz » 2017-02-08 21:54

arochester wrote:Do you mean Standard System Utilities? http://csmojo.com/posts/what-debian-sta ... clude.html


The Debian Installation guide refers to a Base System. Is this the same as the "Standard System Utilities"?

I don't currently have a debian system, so I can't test what dpkg-query shows for the "Essential" and "Priority" packages.
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby Thorny » 2017-02-09 09:50

bdz wrote:The Debian Installation guide refers to a Base System. Is this the same as the "Standard System Utilities"?

A base system is just a command line system and it is extremely unlikely that someone asking this question will want that. You would have no Desktop (GUI). Generally speaking, you would end up with a command line prompt and not know what to do next.


A standard utilities install would also include standard utilities (no surprise there). They would be the ones in the link that poster arochester gave you.

However, you still would not have a Desktop, and likely still wouldn't know what to do next.


The lists that you are asking for really aren't going to be much use to someone who doesn't already understand Debian. What is the purpose of your questions, are you trying to decide how much space you need for an install? ...Or something else?


bdz wrote:I don't currently have a debian system, so I can't test what dpkg-query shows for the "Essential" and "Priority" packages.

You could boot up a live Debian system and then use the commands that poster stevepusser gave you. He is probably correct about "Essential" and "Required".


Since you are apparently new at this despite having joined the forum in 2008, maybe you could state your actual goal so that we may make more specific comments that might be able to help you acheive it.
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby bdz » 2017-02-09 19:13

Thorny wrote:A base system is just a command line system and it is extremely unlikely that someone asking this question will want that. You would have no Desktop (GUI).

That is exactly what I want.
Thorny wrote:Generally speaking, you would end up with a command line prompt and not know what to do next.

Oh, I think I would. I'm currently running arch linux.

Default linux distributions (and I've used many, including debian), include many things I never use. While disk space is cheap, every piece of software has the potential to be a security risk and, more importantly to me, has the potential to complicate upgrades. I cannot count the number of times I've travelled through dependency hell.

I prefer to start with minimal system and add just what I need. While I've become fond of arch, I've run into quite a number of dependency problems during upgrades, more than I care for.

SO I'm trying to decide between two alternatives: (i) start with a minimal debian system and build it up, or (ii) build a a 'linux from scratch' system.

To help me decide, I was hoping to find an authoritative description of the minimal debian system that I can install. Then I can decide if it's acceptable (per my admittedly idiosyncratic standards) or too much.

Is it possible that no such description exists?

regards to all
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby stevepusser » 2017-02-09 19:36

I get for the essential packages:

Code: Select all
[quote]base-files                              yes
base-passwd                             yes
bash                                    yes
bsdutils                                yes
coreutils                               yes
dash                                    yes
debianutils                             yes
diffutils                               yes
dpkg                                    yes
e2fsprogs                               yes
findutils                               yes
grep                                    yes
gzip                                    yes
hostname                                yes
init                                    yes
libc-bin                                yes
login                                   yes
mount                                   yes
ncurses-base                            yes
ncurses-bin                             yes
perl-base                               yes
sed                                     yes
sysvinit-utils                          yes
tar                                     yes
util-linux                              yes[/quote]


And for the additonal non-duplicate required ones:

Code: Select all
cli-shell-utils                         required
debconf                                 required
debconf-i18n                            required
e2fslibs                                required
gcc-4.9-base                            required
initscripts                             required
libacl1                                 required
libattr1                                required
libblkid1                               required
libc6                                   required
libcomerr2                              required
libgcc1                                 required
liblocale-gettext-perl                  required
liblzma5                                required
libmount1                               required
libncurses5                             required
libpam-modules                          required
libpam-modules-bin                      required
libpam-runtime                          required
libpam0g                                required
libpcre3                                required
libselinux1                             required
libsepol1                               required
libsmartcols1                           required
libss2                                  required
libtext-charwidth-perl                  required
libtext-iconv-perl                      required
libtext-wrapi18n-perl                   required
libtinfo5                               required
libuuid1                                required
libuuid1                                required
login                                   required
lsb-base                                required
mawk                                    required
passwd                                  required
sensible-utils                          required
startpar                                required
sysv-rc                                 required
tzdata                                  required
xz-utils                                required
zlib1g                                  required


I think the second command in fact includes all the packages produced by the first one, so only the second would be needed.
Last edited by stevepusser on 2017-02-10 01:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby tynman » 2017-02-09 19:39

A description of a "base system" is here: https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-binary.html#s3.7 But that doesn't tell you which packages are IN a "base system". And in my opinion, it's not really clear what they mean by "base system".

However, somewhere above you mentioned you want a non-gui, command-line shell system. That is easily accomplished by... in the Debian installation program, when it asks you to pick a "desktop", simply don't choose a desktop and what you end up with is a non-gui, CLI-only system. (Maybe that's a "base system". Maybe not.)
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby stevepusser » 2017-02-09 19:59

tynman wrote:A description of a "base system" is here: https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-binary.html#s3.7 But that doesn't tell you which packages are IN a "base system". And in my opinion, it's not really clear what they mean by "base system".

However, somewhere above you mentioned you want a non-gui, command-line shell system. That is easily accomplished by... in the Debian installation program, when it asks you to pick a "desktop", simply don't choose a desktop and what you end up with is a non-gui, CLI-only system. (Maybe that's a "base system". Maybe not.)


Well, yes--it's also what pbuilder sets up as a base package build platform in the openSUSE Build System for a Debian package, for example, before adding build-essential as a given, then adding whatever else build-depends are listed in debian/control.
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby bdz » 2017-02-09 20:14

stevepusser wrote:I get for the essential packages:
...

Thanks for the lists. Seeing them is very helpful. I need to go through them, but at first glance, they look pretty compact.

Well, yes--it's also what pbuilder sets up as a base package build platform in the openSUSE Build System for a Debian package, for example, before adding build-essential as a given, then adding whatever else build-depends are listed in debian/control.


That's interesting.
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby RU55EL » 2017-02-09 22:01

The Debian Administrators handbook wrote:4.2.14. Installing the Base System
This step, which doesn't require any user interaction, installs the Debian “base system” packages. This includes the dpkg and apt tools, which manage Debian packages, as well as the utilities necessary to boot the system and start using it.


Debian Administrator's handbook link Section 4.2.14, of course.

Pretty general, but clear.
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby edbarx » 2017-02-28 15:45

Debootstrap also installs a minimal base system without any logins. To set up the root account you will need to chroot into the new installation and use passwd. /etc/fstab, /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/network/interfaces are not automatically created.
Debian == { > 30, 000 packages }; Debian != systemd
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It is hard to get away from CLI tools.
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby prairiedad » 2017-03-28 21:16

I'm another who finds the documentation and installer a little short on information. The installer doesn't say "base system" or the like, it asks what desktop you want and lists Debian Desktop Environment first, already checked, and then the usual suspects, though not all of them...Gnome, KDE, LXDE...but not Lxqt, which is what I was after. I assumed that "Debian Desktop Environment" meant lower-level packages, so did an installation with that and that only...and got Gnome! I tried reinstalling and _unchecked_ DDE, and that got me a functioning, bare-bones, no-GUI system. Unfortunately, installing lxqt-core, lxqt and task-lxqt-desktop then failed...libopus0 was not in the repos for stretch, only sid.

But the failure, since rectified, isn't the point...it is the unhelpful use of terms like base system and standard utilities and Debian DE, nowhere defined, that I (and some of you, too) are taking issue with, I guess. I'm a new Debian user, mostly Fedora and Arch and long ago Gentoo...who should I turn to to talk about some of these things?

thanks and regards...
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby Thorny » 2017-03-29 09:04

prairiedad wrote: I'm a new Debian user, mostly Fedora and Arch and long ago Gentoo...who should I turn to to talk about some of these things?

I am somewhat surprised that someone with your experience of various GNU/Linux distros would have questions like this.

Surely you must have learned how to read documentation and use a search engine. In addition, that you would ask in a support forum a question like who to talk to about the issues you have identified. Haven't you encountered bug reports in your career?

I wonder what forums you have been participating in where digging up a month old thread is considered good form.

Good luck with Debian now that you have chosen to use it. By the way, people who don't yet understand Debian are encouraged to use the stable branch, not testing or sid. (That's in the documentation.)
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Re: What, exactly, is in the "Base System"?

Postby Horizon_Brave » 2017-03-29 18:00

Thorny, can you be any more of an arrogant ass? Jeez... people ask questions to learn.
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