vanilla-gnome-desktop dependencies too strict

Bug #1764596 reported by Michael Gratton on 2018-04-17
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubuntu-gnome-meta (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Since the vanilla-gnome-desktop package lists a number of GNOME desktop apps (Contacts, Calendar, Todo, etc) as Depends, people who want a stock upstrem GNOME experience on Ubuntu but also use Flatpak to receive updates for their applications are forced to either install and manage duplicates of these applications, or uninstall vanilla-gnome-desktop, breaking future upgrades.

It would be good to either drop these application packages to Recommends (while keeping important infrastructure such as Software and Shell) so they can at least be uninstalled without also uninstalling vanilla-gnome-desktop, or moved to a separate package (vanilla-gnome-apps?) which could Depend on vanilla-gnome-desktop and be listed in the Recommends for it.

Either way, for end users who don't care about Flatpak (or Snaps) the experience should be the same since installing Recommends is the default.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 18.04
Package: vanilla-gnome-desktop 0.83
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.15.0-13.14-generic 4.15.10
Uname: Linux 4.15.0-13-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.20.9-0ubuntu5
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: GNOME
Date: Tue Apr 17 11:47:15 2018
InstallationDate: Installed on 2015-07-22 (1000 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu-GNOME 15.04 "Vivid Vervet" - Release amd64 (20150422)
SourcePackage: ubuntu-gnome-meta
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Michael Gratton (mjog) wrote :
Tim Lunn (darkxst) on 2018-04-17
Changed in ubuntu-gnome-meta (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Tim Lunn (darkxst) wrote :

Hi Michael,
  I would be happy for apps to be downgraded to Recommends, if you have a look at the seed[1] alot are already marked recommends (Recommends are the ones marked like "* (gnome-weather)". Overall the selection that are marked Recommends is a little inconsistent and this could certainly be cleaned up a bit.

If you would like to prepare a patch or Merge Proposal, would be happy to sponsor it for you.

As a side note, one thing we has planned to do for a long time, but no one has ever got around to doing it. Is to split the parkageset out into seperate core and apps packages.


Michael Gratton (mjog) wrote :

Hey Tim,

I'd be happy to take a look at it. I haven't done anything with seeds before, but from having a quick look at the wiki it looks like that seed is what generates the vanilla-gnome-desktop package - is that right? If I wanted to try to split up the two packages would I need to produce a second seed?

Tim Lunn (darkxst) wrote :

The bzr branch is the source for generating the meta package (vanilla-gnome-desktop)

The source package ubuntu-gnome-meta, has an 'update' script that reads the seed from bzr and generates the package lists that are used by germinate to produce the final meta packages.

So the basic process is
1. Update bzr branch
2. pull-lp-source ubuntu-gnome-meta
3. For testing update the bzr branch in update.cfg
4. Run the './update' script in ubuntu-gnome-meta
5. Build package as per normal (dpkg-buildpackage or sbuild or PPA etc)

To split the desktop seed,
- You would create a new file in the bzr repo and move all the core deps into it (or probably easier to rename desktop to core, then move the apps into a new desktop file)
- You would need to update the SUPPORTED File in the seed bzr repo, to include the new core seed and have desktop depend on it
- You would need to add a new package for the core seed in debian/control in ubuntu-gnome-meta

Maybe take a look at some of the other flavours, pretty sure lubuntu did a similar split in the past.

kg (joshorjeff) wrote :

Now that certain utilities are being shipped as snaps by default this might be more important. E.g. default install of 18.04 includes gnome-system-monitor as a snap but if you want the vanilla gnome desktop you end up with the deb version as well. If you're using snaps it makes more sense to use the snap version as it can see the snap processes (doesn't look like the deb one can) so would be nicer to be able to remove the deb version rather than the snap if the duplicated menu entries got annoying.

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