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The Debian System -- Concepts and Techniques The Debian System -- Concepts and Techniques
Martin F. Krafft Open Source Press / No Starch Press ISBN 3-937514-07-4 / 1-593270-69-0
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Unclear wording on Pre-Depends relation (page 210)

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Reported on: 2006-01-30

In chapter 5. The Debian package management system on page 210:

The description of the Pre-Depends relation as part of the discussion of the Depends relation in section 5.7.3 is unclear. A better explanation is:

Another relation, Pre-Depends, provides a tighter dependency and is only used in very special cases;
packages listed here need to be fully configured before the dependending package can be unpacked or configured. If a previous version of the pre-dependent package has once been configured on the system, the depending package can be unpacked (but not configured) even if the current version of the pre-dependent package has not been configured yet.


In a certain sense, Pre-Depends is more relaxed than Depends and is thus used to work around some situations in which a plain Depends would not be suitable. However, from a technical perspective, the dependency is tighter.

The relevant section of the Debian Policy has since been updated to draw a clearer picture.


Gerfried Fuchs

Christian Einfeldt, MadPenguin: Martin's interesting 37-page chapter on how Debian is structured [...] will probably become a small, but important and enduring part of the stories that Debian developers will tell about themselves. [...] Martin's thorough, but succinct, summary of the Debian project will be one of the features that will cause Debian fans to keep Martin's book in a well-thumbed condition on their shelves.


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