Logrotate package incorrectly requires anacron as a dependency

Bug #1011708 reported by Eric Wilde on 2012-06-11
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
logrotate (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Under Ubuntu 12.04, when I attempted to remove the anacron package, it incorrectly identified logrotate as a dependency of this package.

There is no way that logrotate "requires" anacron to operate. Logrotate is a standalone package that can be exectued from crontab, anacrontab or the command line, for that matter. It does not "require" any of these so, please remove the dependency from the logrotate package on anacron.

Having anacron as a requirement for logrotate makes it impossible to remove anacron (which on a server, for example, is an annoying package that is more trouble than it is worth), without removing logrotate too (which is a very useful package that one wishes to keep).

Changed in logrotate (Ubuntu):
status: New → In Progress
assignee: nobody → Paolo Rotolo (paolorotolo)
Paolo Rotolo (paolorotolo) wrote :

Thanks for the bug report!
I've fixed this issue. The patch is attached at this comment.


Paolo Rotolo (paolorotolo) wrote :
Changed in logrotate (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Confirmed
assignee: Paolo Rotolo (paolorotolo) → nobody
tags: added: patch
James Page (james-page) wrote :

Hi Eric

Thanks for the bug report.

However I don't think that this is actually a bug - anacron is an alternative dependency for this package:

   cron | anacron | fcron

logrotate does require *SOME* sort of cron system to operate effectively - so long as you have one of the alternatives installed you should not have a problem.

Paolo - thanks for the debdiff but I really don't think this is a change we should be making.

Changed in logrotate (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Download full text (3.3 KiB)

At 11:50 AM 6/15/2012 +0000, you wrote:
>However I don't think that this is actually a bug - anacron is an
>alternative dependency for this package:
> cron | anacron | fcron

First of all, cron was installed so your alternative dependency thing is
not working correctly.

>logrotate does require *SOME* sort of cron system to operate effectively

And therein lies the problem. You are essentially acting as an arbiter
of good taste. The purpose of dependencies is to list the packages that
are required for it to "work". Not work effectively. You have no idea
what the user's intention is when they install the package. Perhaps they
have an alternative to cron. Perhaps they run it by hand.

Telling the users how they should run the package only limits its use.
And, the distribution gets so loaded up with crap that it becomes almost
unusable. For example, on the system I am using, anacron is just wrong.
It runs time-critical jobs at the wrong time. Running the jobs out of
cron is the answer. But, to do this, anacron must be removed. So, the
easiest way is to uninstall the package. But, this is rendered impossible
by your misguided attempt to dictate how your package should be used.
This means that anacron must be ripped out by hand, perhaps incorrectly.

>So long as you have one of the alternatives installed you should not
>have a problem.

And, yet, I do. And, your package is not the only example of this
problem. There is plenty of other junk I'd like to remove but can't.
For example. All of the games. But, somebody decided that games were
a requirement for Gnome. So, removing a game means that the entire GUI
must be removed. Seriously?

I think you should stick to defining installation procedures that make
the packages actually work and not decide how they should work. There
are plenty of people out there who have different ideas of what's
useful and what's not, many of which I couldn't even begin to imagine.
If you want to build truly useful software you shouldn't try to limit it
ahead of time.

As it stands now, Ubuntu is becoming nearly unusable. At one point, I
actually thought that it might serve as a nice workstation. But, with
12.04, I have had to rip off a lot of junk that I never wanted (e.g.
Unity). At this point, I will probably start casting about for a
replacement. And, I'm not the only one, it would appear. Apparently,
there are lots of unhappy campers.

I realize that you guys are volunteers and can do whatever you like.
 From the direction of things, it seems that your goal is to produce a
package that takes on Microsoft and Apple, i.e. something that a
trained monkey can install and that will give them the "Consumer

Unfortunately, I don't think you're ever going to win that battle.
Maybe on $200 laptops and other low-budget systems but not on any
platforms of consequence. The two big guys (not to mention Google) are
sadly quite capable of crushing anyone who aspires to be a true
competitor. Meanwhile, the rest of us are more interested in "Working"
than the "Consumer Experience". With each release there seems to be less
of the former and more of the later. In my opinion, heading in this


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