Debian Bug report logs - #587279
Clarify restrictions on main to non-free dependencies

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Package: debian-policy; Maintainer for debian-policy is Debian Policy List <>; Source for debian-policy is src:debian-policy.

Reported by: Raphael Geissert <>

Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 23:33:05 UTC

Owned by: Russ Allbery <>

Severity: normal

Merged with 616462

Found in versions 3.8.4, debian-policy/

Fix blocked by 681419: Alternative dependencies on non-free packages in main

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From: Russ Allbery <>
To: Steve Langasek <>
Cc:,  Bill Allombert <>,  Raphael Geissert <>
Subject: Re: Bug#587279: debian-policy: section 2.2.1 needs some tweaking
In-Reply-To: <> (Steve Langasek's message
	of "Sun, 18 Jul 2010 02:53:11 +0200")
Organization: The Eyrie
References: <>
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Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 09:26:38 -0700
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Steve Langasek <> writes:

> This particular wording allows for the non-free package to be first in
> the list of alternatives, which I think is clearly incorrect.  The
> intent AIUI is to avoid installation of a package in main ever causing a
> non-free package to be pulled in automatically, regardless of whether
> non-free is enabled in sources.list.

> So I would instead suggest writing this as:

>   unless this package is listed as a non-default alternative to a package in
>   <em>main</em>

Good point.  Here's updated wording, which starts from yours and tweaks it
a little bit to try to make it even more explicit.

diff --git a/policy.sgml b/policy.sgml
index 0b3c1a1..06c1fdc 100644
--- a/policy.sgml
+++ b/policy.sgml
@@ -476,9 +476,12 @@
 		  must not require a package outside of <em>main</em>
 		  for compilation or execution (thus, the package must
-		  not declare a "Depends", "Recommends", or
-		  "Build-Depends" relationship on a non-<em>main</em>
-		  package),
+		  not declare a <tt>Pre-Depends</tt>, <tt>Depends</tt>,
+		  <tt>Recommends</tt>, <tt>Build-Depends</tt>,
+		  or <tt>Build-Depends-Indep</tt> relationship on a
+		  non-<em>main</em> package unless that package is only
+		  listed as a non-default alternative for a package
+		  in <em>main</em),
 		  must not be so buggy that we refuse to support them,

Russ Allbery (               <>

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