Return a Debian system to a pristine state

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
94 messages Options
12345
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Victor Sudakov-2
Dear Colleagues,

A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
unnecessary packages. Users install software for testing, then forget
about it, or it falls into disuse...

In FreeBSD, you can always run "pkg delete -a" and return to the
post-install state (well, almost). This command will remove all the
third-party packages added to the base system after installation
(modified files under /usr/local/ will remain).

What's the procedure for Debian?

--
Victor Sudakov,  VAS4-RIPE, VAS47-RIPN
2:5005/49@fidonet http://vas.tomsk.ru/

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Dan Ritter-4
Victor Sudakov wrote:

> A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
> unnecessary packages. Users install software for testing, then forget
> about it, or it falls into disuse...
>
> In FreeBSD, you can always run "pkg delete -a" and return to the
> post-install state (well, almost). This command will remove all the
> third-party packages added to the base system after installation
> (modified files under /usr/local/ will remain).
>
> What's the procedure for Debian?

There is no pristine state for Debian. Choices made during
installation affect what the first boot experience looks like.

apt remove  will uninstall a package.

apt purge will uninstall a package and try to remove any
configuration it has left behind.

dpkg -S  will tell you what package a file belongs
to.

apt-cache rdepends  will tell you what other packages depend on
an installed package.

/var/lib/apt/lists/* has package information; if you grep for
Priority: required  you will find packages that *must* be
installed. The ranking is:

 required > important > standard > optional > extra



-dsr-

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

songbird
In reply to this post by Victor Sudakov-2
Victor Sudakov wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
>
> A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
> unnecessary packages. Users install software for testing, then forget
> about it, or it falls into disuse...
>
> In FreeBSD, you can always run "pkg delete -a" and return to the
> post-install state (well, almost). This command will remove all the
> third-party packages added to the base system after installation
> (modified files under /usr/local/ will remain).
>
> What's the procedure for Debian?

  i don't think there is any one procedure as there are so
many different requirements that people can have and the
size of the installation may be quite different.

  when someone specifies a production system to me that means
they are likely running stable and not testing or unstable.

  you can find some information about what packages and
versions in /var/log/install and /var/log/apt if you've kept
those files.

  if as time has been long enough there may be updates from
the initial installed versions so i don't think you can always
count on downgrading to work for those.

  if you desire a specific image of a system to always be able
to boot and work then there would have to be some other way
to do that IMO.  i have not yet used timeshift as my backup
and recovery needs are not that great (instead i keep other
bootable versions available including one on a USB stick).

  there are other partition copying utilties and schemes that
can be used, but i've not had to mess with them recently enough.
a long time ago i was using partclone which did what i needed
it to do.


  songbird

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Greg Wooledge
> Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > In FreeBSD, you can always run "pkg delete -a" and return to the
> > post-install state (well, almost). This command will remove all the
> > third-party packages added to the base system after installation
> > (modified files under /usr/local/ will remain).

That's because (Free|Open)BSD has a completely different approach to
how they develop their operating system.  Under their model, there
are two completely *separate* parts of the operating system: the base
system, and packages.  Packages are add-ons that are maintained by a
separate group.  They're not part of the base system.  They're installed
in /usr/local, and they're tracked separately.

In Debian, there is no such separation.  There are only "packages", and
these packages can be essential (what you'd consider part of the base
system), or frivolous, or anywhere in between.  The packaging system
doesn't *know* which packages you would consider to be keep-worthy and
which ones you would consider to be fluff.  Only you would know that.

So, if you want to put the work in to achieve this goal, you can come
up with a set of packages that *you* consider important enough to keep,
and then simply purge everything else.

When you break the system, you will get to reinstall from scratch, which
is what you should have been doing in the first place, if you really want
to "clean up" a legacy installation.

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Charles Curley
In reply to this post by Victor Sudakov-2
On Wed, 27 May 2020 15:47:00 +0700
Victor Sudakov <[hidden email]> wrote:

> A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
> unnecessary packages. Users install software for testing, then forget
> about it, or it falls into disuse...

You might look into the package debfoster.

--
Does anybody read signatures any more?

https://charlescurley.com
https://charlescurley.com/blog/

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Victor Sudakov-2
In reply to this post by Dan Ritter-4
Dan Ritter wrote:

> Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
> > unnecessary packages. Users install software for testing, then forget
> > about it, or it falls into disuse...
> >
> > In FreeBSD, you can always run "pkg delete -a" and return to the
> > post-install state (well, almost). This command will remove all the
> > third-party packages added to the base system after installation
> > (modified files under /usr/local/ will remain).
> >
> > What's the procedure for Debian?
>
> There is no pristine state for Debian.

There should be, even if this "pristine state" is but a list of packages
at the moment of the first boot.

> Choices made during
> installation affect what the first boot experience looks like.

The first boot experience is what can be called a pristine state. If
something or someone saved that initial list of packages, it could be
called "the pristine state."

For the future, I'll always save the output of "dpkg -l" after the first
boot for later comparison, but I did not expect it was not being done
somewhere automatically already.

[dd]

>
> /var/lib/apt/lists/* has package information; if you grep for
> Priority: required  you will find packages that *must* be
> installed. The ranking is:
>
>  required > important > standard > optional > extra

This is interesting. This job of finding "extra" packages installed
since the first boot can probably be done by the user, but I expected
some ready solution to exist.

--
Victor Sudakov,  VAS4-RIPE, VAS47-RIPN
2:5005/49@fidonet http://vas.tomsk.ru/

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Victor Sudakov-2
In reply to this post by songbird
songbird wrote:

> >
> > A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
> > unnecessary packages. Users install software for testing, then forget
> > about it, or it falls into disuse...
> >
> > In FreeBSD, you can always run "pkg delete -a" and return to the
> > post-install state (well, almost). This command will remove all the
> > third-party packages added to the base system after installation
> > (modified files under /usr/local/ will remain).
> >
> > What's the procedure for Debian?
>
>   i don't think there is any one procedure as there are so
> many different requirements that people can have and the
> size of the installation may be quite different.

As I wrote to Dan, a pristine state could be a list of packages
at the moment of the first boot. Yes, it would be different for
different installations, I don't see it as a major problem.

>
>   when someone specifies a production system to me that means
> they are likely running stable and not testing or unstable.

Irrelevant for the question.
>
>   you can find some information about what packages and
> versions in /var/log/install and /var/log/apt if you've kept
> those files.
>
>   if as time has been long enough there may be updates from
> the initial installed versions so i don't think you can always
> count on downgrading to work for those.

An automatic tool would be useful to analyze the above. I somehow
expected something like that to exist.

>
>   if you desire a specific image of a system to always be able
> to boot and work then there would have to be some other way
> to do that IMO.  i have not yet used timeshift as my backup
> and recovery needs are not that great (instead i keep other
> bootable versions available including one on a USB stick).
>
>   there are other partition copying utilties and schemes that
> can be used, but i've not had to mess with them recently enough.
> a long time ago i was using partclone which did what i needed
> it to do.

No, backups and images is already a different story. Am I expected to
always manually document somewhere that I installed some bloated piece
of software, just to be able to remove it (and its dependencies) later
when I don't need it?


--
Victor Sudakov,  VAS4-RIPE, VAS47-RIPN
2:5005/49@fidonet http://vas.tomsk.ru/

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Victor Sudakov-2
In reply to this post by Greg Wooledge
Greg Wooledge wrote:

> > Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > > In FreeBSD, you can always run "pkg delete -a" and return to the
> > > post-install state (well, almost). This command will remove all the
> > > third-party packages added to the base system after installation
> > > (modified files under /usr/local/ will remain).
>
> That's because (Free|Open)BSD has a completely different approach to
> how they develop their operating system.  Under their model, there
> are two completely *separate* parts of the operating system: the base
> system, and packages.  Packages are add-ons that are maintained by a
> separate group.  They're not part of the base system.  They're installed
> in /usr/local, and they're tracked separately.

I know. I've been using FreeBSD for 25 years, since 1.1.5.1 probably.

>
> In Debian, there is no such separation.  There are only "packages", and
> these packages can be essential (what you'd consider part of the base
> system), or frivolous, or anywhere in between.  The packaging system
> doesn't *know* which packages you would consider to be keep-worthy and
> which ones you would consider to be fluff.  Only you would know that.

I probably know that the packages present at the moment of the first
boot after installation are essential and keep-worthy. Can I do
something useful having this knowledge now?

>
> So, if you want to put the work in to achieve this goal, you can come
> up with a set of packages that *you* consider important enough to keep,
> and then simply purge everything else.

So there is no software product which would suggest to me packages for
purging? Maybe even interactively?

"Package XXX was installed YYY days after the system installation, would
you like to purge it and its dependencies? (y/n)"

That would be kinda nice.

>
> When you break the system, you will get to reinstall from scratch, which
> is what you should have been doing in the first place, if you really want
> to "clean up" a legacy installation.

No, a reinstall from scratch is some Microsoft Windows approach, I'd
refrain from if I possibly can.

--
Victor Sudakov,  VAS4-RIPE, VAS47-RIPN
2:5005/49@fidonet http://vas.tomsk.ru/

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Victor Sudakov-2
In reply to this post by Charles Curley
Charles Curley wrote:
>
> > A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
> > unnecessary packages. Users install software for testing, then forget
> > about it, or it falls into disuse...
>
> You might look into the package debfoster.

Thanks, Charles!

This looks like a very close hit. If I run "debfoster -q" right after
installation, it would probably do what I was asking for.

--
Victor Sudakov,  VAS4-RIPE, VAS47-RIPN
2:5005/49@fidonet http://vas.tomsk.ru/

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Andrei POPESCU-2
In reply to this post by Victor Sudakov-2
On Jo, 28 mai 20, 12:31:33, Victor Sudakov wrote:

> Greg Wooledge wrote:
> >
> > In Debian, there is no such separation.  There are only "packages", and
> > these packages can be essential (what you'd consider part of the base
> > system), or frivolous, or anywhere in between.  The packaging system
> > doesn't *know* which packages you would consider to be keep-worthy and
> > which ones you would consider to be fluff.  Only you would know that.
>
> I probably know that the packages present at the moment of the first
> boot after installation are essential and keep-worthy. Can I do
> something useful having this knowledge now?
I don't agree. E.g. by default the Debian Installer will install Gnome.  
Does that mean Gnome is keep-worthy, even if I'm using LXDE? And even if
I do select LXDE instead during the install, there are some components I
might not need (e.g. I'm currently using xfce4-terminal instead of
lxterminal).

This is not even considering alternative methods of installation like
debootstrap. For certain installations I find even the default
debootstrap installation to be "bloated" and start with
'--variant=minbase' instead (only 'Priority: required' and apt).  
Apparently 'mmdebstrap' can make even smaller installs.

Then there's also the choice of with or without Recommends, which has
been debated a lot on this list (please search the archives).

> > So, if you want to put the work in to achieve this goal, you can come
> > up with a set of packages that *you* consider important enough to keep,
> > and then simply purge everything else.
>
> So there is no software product which would suggest to me packages for
> purging? Maybe even interactively?
>
> "Package XXX was installed YYY days after the system installation, would
> you like to purge it and its dependencies? (y/n)"

If packages were installed due to Depends (or Recommends if enabled) apt
will suggest removing those that are not needed anymore, while obeying
AutoRemove::RecommendsImportant and AutoRemove::SuggestsImportant (both
enabled by default).

If you have popularity-contest installed (and enabled?) there is
popcon-largest-unused. I seem to recall it uses atime, so it might not
work if you mount your system partition(s) noatime.

Other cleaning options:

    aptitude purge '?config-files'
    aptitude purge '?garbage'
    aptitude purge '?obsolete'

See the aptitude manual for the meaning of these (and many other
interesting) search patterns.
https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/aptitude/ch02s04s05.en.html

Advanced queries of the dpkg database (locally installed packages) can
be done with dpkg-query.

Hope this helps,
Andrei
--
http://wiki.debian.org/FAQsFromDebianUser

signature.asc (849 bytes) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Sijmen J. Mulder
In reply to this post by Victor Sudakov-2
Victor Sudakov wrote:

> A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
> unnecessary packages. Users install software for testing, then forget
> about it, or it falls into disuse...
>
> In FreeBSD, you can always run "pkg delete -a" and return to the
> post-install state (well, almost). This command will remove all the
> third-party packages added to the base system after installation
> (modified files under /usr/local/ will remain).
>
> What's the procedure for Debian?

It helps to only look installed packages marked automatic but lots of
system programs and libraries are marked as such. I'd expect a 'base'
metapackage of some sort...

...which ties into the remark made a few times in this thread which is
that there is no singular set of base packages. But then at least have
tasksel do something like that.

Admittedly I just don't know a lot about Debian packages but as a user
I have the same concern as Victor.

Sijmen

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

tomas@tuxteam.de
On Thu, May 28, 2020 at 11:09:42AM +0200, Sijmen J. Mulder wrote:
> Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
> > unnecessary packages [...]

> > What's the procedure for Debian?
>
> It helps to only look installed packages marked automatic [...]

> ...which ties into the remark made a few times in this thread which is
> that there is no singular set of base packages.

That would be the packages marked "essential". But note that this will
be much less than what a "normal desktop user" expects...

Cheers
-- tomás

signature.asc (205 bytes) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Greg Wooledge
In reply to this post by Victor Sudakov-2
On Thu, May 28, 2020 at 12:15:41PM +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> Dan Ritter wrote:
> > There is no pristine state for Debian.
>
> There should be, even if this "pristine state" is but a list of packages
> at the moment of the first boot.

But that set is NOT the same for everyone.  The installer selects
some based on the hardware that it discovers during the installation,
and you select some in the task selection menu.  Also, there are several
different installer images, including some that are meant to be used as
live, and some that have non-free firmware packages.

If *you*, the one person on the planet who wants this, would like to
achieve your goal, what you can do is get a snapshot of *your* packages
immediately after the installation, by running

dpkg --get-selections > /root/initial-packages

Just hold on to that file, and it will allow you to return to this
state on the same machine, or conceivably even a different machine.

If on the other hand your real goal is not to achieve package reduction,
but instead to *complain* about Debian, well, you've already achieved
it.

If your real goal is not just to complain about Debian, but rather,
to make Debian *change* something arbitrary, just so that you feel
powerful, well, good luck with that.

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

The Wanderer
On 2020-05-28 at 07:40, Greg Wooledge wrote:

> On Thu, May 28, 2020 at 12:15:41PM +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
>
>> Dan Ritter wrote:
>>
>>> There is no pristine state for Debian.
>>
>> There should be, even if this "pristine state" is but a list of
>> packages at the moment of the first boot.
>
> But that set is NOT the same for everyone.  The installer selects
> some based on the hardware that it discovers during the
> installation, and you select some in the task selection menu.  Also,
> there are several different installer images, including some that are
> meant to be used as live, and some that have non-free firmware
> packages.
As you yourself note, that can be addressed by defining the "pristine
state" package set at install time - either when and as the packages
that are to be installed are selected, or immediately after the
installation has completed - instead of trying to pre-define it before
the install begins.

> If *you*, the one person on the planet who wants this,

Clearly that's not true, or there wouldn't be a user base for the way
FreeBSD does things which led him to have the expectation that this
would be possible.

> would like to achieve your goal, what you can do is get a snapshot of
> *your* packages immediately after the installation, by running
>
> dpkg --get-selections > /root/initial-packages
>
> Just hold on to that file, and it will allow you to return to this
> state on the same machine, or conceivably even a different machine.

The suggestion of 'debfoster', from elsewhere in the thread, seems
reasonable as well. Although that would then mean that debfoster itself
would then be included in the list of base packages, which isn't
necessarily desirable and isn't technically accurate.

> If on the other hand your real goal is not to achieve package
> reduction, but instead to *complain* about Debian, well, you've
> already achieved it.
>
> If your real goal is not just to complain about Debian, but rather,
> to make Debian *change* something arbitrary, just so that you feel
> powerful, well, good luck with that.

It seems to me that his goal (aside from finding a way to do the "revert
to pristine state" in his own case) is to persuade people that Debian
should implement, and in fact if possible should already have
implemented, a mechanism to make such a pristine-state reversion
possible in all cases - rather than having it be possible only if the
user took a particular action, which is not clearly documented or
suggested for that point, immediately after install.

While I'm not particularly happy with the tone of his inquiries either,
and I doubt that I would ever use such a mechanism if it existed, the
basic idea doesn't seem like a particularly unreasonable one. I think
your own pushback against it probably goes too far in its own right.

--
   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw


signature.asc (849 bytes) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Dan Ritter-4
In reply to this post by Victor Sudakov-2
Victor Sudakov wrote:

> Dan Ritter wrote:
> > Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > > A production system, especially a desktop system, tends to accumulate
> > > unnecessary packages. Users install software for testing, then forget
> > > about it, or it falls into disuse...
> > >
> > > In FreeBSD, you can always run "pkg delete -a" and return to the
> > > post-install state (well, almost). This command will remove all the
> > > third-party packages added to the base system after installation
> > > (modified files under /usr/local/ will remain).
> > >
> > > What's the procedure for Debian?
> >
> > There is no pristine state for Debian.
>
> There should be, even if this "pristine state" is but a list of packages
> at the moment of the first boot.

> The first boot experience is what can be called a pristine state. If
> something or someone saved that initial list of packages, it could be
> called "the pristine state."

That won't be consistent against other installs of the same Debian
version.

The installer looks at the hardware it can find and asks you for
selections that influence what it will install. If you answer
the questions the same way every time on a particular machine,
it will produce a consistent result. If you answer the questions
differently, or the hardware is at all different, you will get a
different result.

Hardware manufacturers often substitute "equivalent" parts, so
two identical machines from the same vendor might not actually be
identical. For example, a laptop vendor might ship a mini-PCIe add-on
card for bluetooth 4 and wifi b/g/n, but when they run out, might ship a
slightly more expensive card that does bluetooth 5 and wifi b/g/n/ac --
with a different driver required.

You might be interested in:

- chef, puppet, ansible, salt: systems that enforce package
  installation and configuration across many machines

- etckeeper: a version control system that operates
  semi-automatically on /etc

- FAI, installer pre-seed, Debian Live: methods for producing as
  consistent an installation as possible across many machines

-dsr-

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Kenneth Parker-2
In reply to this post by Greg Wooledge


On Thu, May 28, 2020, 7:41 AM Greg Wooledge <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, May 28, 2020 at 12:15:41PM +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> Dan Ritter wrote:
> > There is no pristine state for Debian.
>
> There should be, even if this "pristine state" is but a list of packages
> at the moment of the first boot.

But that set is NOT the same for everyone.  The installer selects
some based on the hardware that it discovers during the installation,
and you select some in the task selection menu.  Also, there are several
different installer images, including some that are meant to be used as
live, and some that have non-free firmware packages.

If *you*, the one person on the planet who wants this, would like to
achieve your goal, what you can do is get a snapshot of *your* packages
immediately after the installation, by running

dpkg --get-selections > /root/initial-packages

Just hold on to that file, and it will allow you to return to this
state on the same machine, or conceivably even a different machine.

My approach to something similar (in my case, when Installation of the packages I want are complete, and the first "apt-get upgrade" is finished), is to do a clean Shutdown, boot from a Rescue CD (or USB), and issue a "tar cvf" on the Mounted Directory. 

Why "tar and feather" from another Linux, instead of the running one?  To avoid the "Virtual File Systems", such as, for example, /proc. 

<snip complaining about complaining>

Good luck! 

Kenneth Parker 
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Greg Wooledge
In reply to this post by The Wanderer
On Thu, May 28, 2020 at 08:00:09AM -0400, The Wanderer wrote:
> Clearly that's not true, or there wouldn't be a user base for the way
> FreeBSD does things which led him to have the expectation that this
> would be possible.

FreeBSD didn't separate packages from the base system just so a
minuscule number of users could "revert to pristine state", because
who the hell wants to do that?  Almost nobody.

The ability to remove all packages is simply a side effect of the
design decision to have a small, centrally controlled, self-consistent
base system.  Everything else is a "package" -- an add-on that
is not part of the base system, and may not have the same level of
quality control and integration that the base system has.

Debian doesn't work this way.  The entire design is different.

In Debian, every single thing is a "package",[1] but that doesn't
necessarily mean "lower quality optional add-on thing that you can and
should chuck into /dev/null at the first opportunity", which is what it
means in BSD.

Debian has no central "base system".  It has only packages -- a package
for the C library (libc6), a package for the init system (systemd), a
package for the basic scripting shell (dash), and so on.  Under BSD,
all of these things would be part of the base system, and they would all
be maintained by the same people.  In Debian, each of them is maintained
by a different person, or different group of people.  They're not always
in sync with each other, they way they are in BSD.

There is simply no reasonable way to define what set of packages would
constitute a "pristine system" in Debian.  The phrase has no meaning.

A handful of BSD users wishing that it had meaning doesn't make it so.

[1] OK, to be fair, there is a magic tarball that lays out the file
system during installation, before any packages can be installed.
So, yes, there are a tiny handful of files that magically appear from
the void during installation, that are not part of any package.  But
that's not a "base system" either.

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

The Wanderer
On 2020-05-28 at 08:51, Greg Wooledge wrote:

> There is simply no reasonable way to define what set of packages
> would constitute a "pristine system" in Debian.  The phrase has no
> meaning.

Yes, there is:

"The set of packages which was present immediately after completion of
the initial installation process."

This will vary between computers, and indeed may vary between successive
installs on the same computer, depending on the options chosen during
the install process - but that doesn't make it any less reasonable of a
definition for any given computer.

At least two ways of identifying this set and making it possible to
revert to that set have been suggested already in this thread, one of
them by you.

Why would the idea of asking for this to be handled automatically - so
that the person doing a new install doesn't need to already be familiar
with how to cause it to happen, despite not having necessarily had the
experience needed to gain that familiarity - be such an unreasonable one
that you push back against it in such harsh terms?

--
   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw


signature.asc (849 bytes) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Victor Sudakov-2
In reply to this post by Greg Wooledge
Greg Wooledge wrote:
> On Thu, May 28, 2020 at 12:15:41PM +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > Dan Ritter wrote:
> > > There is no pristine state for Debian.
> >
> > There should be, even if this "pristine state" is but a list of packages
> > at the moment of the first boot.
>
> But that set is NOT the same for everyone.  The installer selects
> some based on the hardware that it discovers during the installation,

I never said this pristine state should be the same for everyone. It is
not required. Even FreeBSD's "base system" is not the same for everyone
because installing some parts thereof is optional (sources, lib32 etc).
And if you compile the base system from source, there are literally
dozens of options not to compile this or that.

What is searched for in Debian is the ability to remove the bloatware
which was not present at the time of installation.

> and you select some in the task selection menu.  Also, there are several
> different installer images, including some that are meant to be used as
> live, and some that have non-free firmware packages.
>
> If *you*, the one person on the planet who wants this, would like to
> achieve your goal, what you can do is get a snapshot of *your* packages
> immediately after the installation, by running
>
> dpkg --get-selections > /root/initial-packages
>
> Just hold on to that file, and it will allow you to return to this
> state on the same machine, or conceivably even a different machine.

Out of itself, this file will not allow me anything. But Charles Curley
has named the debfoster utility which seems to do the closest thing to
what I wanted to achieve.

Thanks again to Charles and if there are no other propositions, I think
we can close this thread.

>
> If on the other hand your real goal is not to achieve package reduction,
> but instead to *complain* about Debian, well, you've already achieved
> it.
>
> If your real goal is not just to complain about Debian, but rather,
> to make Debian *change* something arbitrary, just so that you feel
> powerful, well, good luck with that.

Let these remarks remain on your conscience.
>

--
Victor Sudakov,  VAS4-RIPE, VAS47-RIPN
2:5005/49@fidonet http://vas.tomsk.ru/

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

Greg Wooledge
On Thu, May 28, 2020 at 08:50:44PM +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> What is searched for in Debian is the ability to remove the bloatware
> which was not present at the time of installation.

But... but... it's precisely DURING the installation that most of the
crappy "bloatware" GETS ONTO THE SYSTEM!

How meny people do you think install GNOME or KDE or XFCE separately
after the install, as opposed to ACCEPTING A DEFAULT during the install?

> > dpkg --get-selections > /root/initial-packages
> >
> > Just hold on to that file, and it will allow you to return to this
> > state on the same machine, or conceivably even a different machine.
>
> Out of itself, this file will not allow me anything. But Charles Curley
> has named the debfoster utility which seems to do the closest thing to
> what I wanted to achieve.

What?!

It does PRECISELY WHAT YOU STATED you wanted to do!

> Thanks again to Charles and if there are no other propositions, I think
> we can close this thread.

Because you cannot be reasoned with?  Sure, yes, OK, that is definitely
a reason for me to stop talking to you.

I stand by everything I've said here.  You have a secret agenda, and
your stated goal, which I told you how to accomplish, is not your
actual goal.  That's why you rejected the solution you were given.

Call me bitchy or whatever you want, but I can SENSE this bullshit from
a mile away, and this is why I react the way I do.

12345