Installed files

Installation of small files

PG

0301

Source

QA

Reported

no

Ebuilds must not introduce USE flags to control installing files that are small in size, require no additional dependencies and not cause any negative consequences to the program behavior by being installed. Such files must be installed unconditionally. Examples include shell completion files, systemd service units, localization files.

Users wishing to strip unnecessary files of this category should use INSTALL_MASK to do so.

Rationale: the goal of this policy is to avoid unnecessary rebuilds of packages when the cost of installing additional files is much smaller than the cost of rebuild. It has been specifically brought in context of bash completions in LibreOffice – a user who did not notice that he did not enable the flag should not be required to spend hours rebuilding such a huge package in order to install one tiny file.

Note

While technically e.g. app-shells/bash-completion could be considered a dependency of installed bash completions, it is not applicable here since this package needs to be installed by the user if he wishes to use completions in the first place, and if it is not installed, completion files are not used at all.

Installation of static libraries

PG

0302

Source

QA

Reported

no

Packages must not install static libraries unless they are explicitly required, either by themselves or their reverse dependencies. If both shared and static libraries are supported, shared libraries must be installed by default and USE=static-libs may be added for static libraries if they are necessary.

Rationale: static linking is strongly discouraged as it makes security support for packages practically impossible. It may be used whenever really necessary (e.g. for recovery tools) but otherwise proliferating it is considered harmful. There is no point in installing static libraries if they are never going to be used.

Installation of libtool (.la) files

PG

0303

Source

QA

Reported

no

Packages must not install libtool .la files unless they are explicitly required. Generally, they might be required if:

  1. the package is using a plugin loader that requires .la files in order to locate plugins and does not have .so fallback (very uncommon),

  2. the package is installing static libraries that have additional dependencies and no pkg-config files or other tools that provide the list of dependencies to build systems.

It is recommended to use the following one-liner to remove .la files:

find "${ED}" -name '*.la' -delete || die

Rationale: libtool files were historically introduced as an attempt to supplement static library archives with dependent library list. However, they were only supported by libtool-based (autotools) projects and caused many issues, in particular due to hardcoding full paths. Today they are practically replaced by more portable pkg-config files, and while libtool keeps generating them, they are considered unnecessary and potentially harmful.