I just needed to test something so I mounted the filesystem of one of my Xen domains in the Dom0 and chroot’d into it (I didn’t need the overhead of running a DomU for a quick test). Then strangely I found that my chroot environment had no apt-get and no dpkg installed.
After a small amount of thought I realised that I had accidentally mounted the filesystem for a Fedora image instead of a Debian image.
It seems to me that it might be a good idea for distributions to have shell scripts replacing the package tools for other distributions. For example dpkg on a Fedora box could be a shell script that runs echo “This system is running Fedora, you want to use rpm instead of dpkg”. Such a command would have saved me a couple of minutes of thinking.
This may sound trivial, but if you consider the number of people who make such mistakes (and the even larger number of people who don’t realise that there is even more than one package tool in existence) then wasting a few K of disk space on every system to help them seems like a good idea.
The minimum size of new hard drives that you can purchase seems to be 36G nowadays. So it’s not as if this would really cost anything.
Please leave comments to tell me if I’m being sensible or silly. If the idea is regarded as good I’ll start filing bug reports.