[maemo-users] My N900 has diffmo as an essential package; safe to remove?

From: Paul Hartman paul.hartman+maemo at gmail.com
Date: Fri Jan 14 18:37:28 EET 2011
On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 8:42 AM, Eero Tamminen <eero.tamminen at nokia.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> ext Marius Vollmer wrote:
>> ext Paul Hartman <paul.hartman+maemo at gmail.com> writes:
>>> So I suppose I have two questions:
>>> 1) What causes a package to become "essential"?
>> The maintainer of that package has decided to make it essential and puts
>> a "Essential: yes" field into debian/control.
>> For Maemo, packages often become "essential" by accident when packaging
>> bits are copied over from Debian.
> Yes, "diff" is essential in Debian.
> It's not an essential in Maemo.
>>> 2) Is it actually safe to remove diffmo? I don't want an unbootable
>>> device or anything bad like that.
>> I assume that diffmo is a replacement for busybox /bin/diff.  If so,
>> then you only need to make sure that you always have a working
>> /bin/diff.  Thus, if after removing diffmo you end up without /bin/diff,
>> repair that immediately, maybe by symlinking it to busybox, or by
>> installing diffutils-gnu.
> Default Busybox isn't built with "diff" utility (diff version in
> Fremantle Busybox is too incompatible with real diff), so symlink
> to that would be wrong.
> If no package is depending on "diffmo", I think it's safe just to
> remove it.

Thanks Marius and Eero for your quick replies and good information.

In fact, like Eero says, I did not have "diff" at all, symlink or
otherwise. (That's why I was installing diffutils-gnu, and probably
why I installed diffmo at some time in the past)

I have safely removed diffmo and installed diffutils-gnu, with
prefixed /usr/bin/gnu on my shell path and everything seems to work.

Thanks again!
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