Monday, 23 July 2018

Re: /usr-merge by default for new installations, with backwards compat

On 23 July 2018 at 13:47, Robie Basak <> wrote:
> Hi Dimitri,
> On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 01:41:03PM +0100, Dimitri John Ledkov wrote:
>> Going forward, I believe, it is useful to enable usr-merge by default
>> on new installs, without forcing migration of existing installations
>> and continue to support split-usr systems. It will enable our users to
>> use their systems in more innovative ways, and reduce the amount of
>> any accidental /-vs-/usr mistakes and incompatibilities in the
>> archive, and among third-party software.
> Could you please fill us in on Debian's position and status on this? How
> much delta do we or would we have to maintain, and how much pain is
> there in this maintenance?

The changes are in per-distro scripts in debootstrap. And the Ubuntu
ones are synced into Debian on regular basis (once we announce our
codenames and/or sync back our changes), thus in practice deltas are
short-lived and folded back into Debian uploads of debootstrap. Some
of the conflicts in Cosmic have been resolved differently to Debian,
thus there are only a small number of packages with different breaks
versions / paths to debian, e.g. usrmerge package being the largest
delta - which is still very small.

Currently, Debian has --merged-usr enabled by default in unstable and
testing. See
uploaded in 1.0.102, full current changelog at



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