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I have been thinking, and not everyone thinks that's a good thing to do.

What I have been thinking is about something Debian does better.

apt-get and (presumably) other tools such as aptitude have a list of critical packages, or maybe critical packages are so marked in the package header.

One cannot easily remove those packages accidentally.

In our context, those packages would include the kernel, glibc, rpm. Maybe the yum group would not be critical, because a system can be maintained without it - many of use used to get along without it.

Python might not be marked as critical, rpm requires it and so would prevent its accidental removal.

I see two ways of flagging packages that are essential, one a list in a configuration file, the other a mark or priority field in the rpm metadata.

The list would require careful review for each release, including version upgrades in RHEL, probably more often in Fedora. On the other hand, it could be implemented pretty much immediately, and maybe seeded with the minimum set of installed packages.

Marking the packages would require changes to rpm (which, I think, has its own release schedule and its own bureaucracy) including a new keyword in the spec file, and would only take effect when all packages are rebuilt - F13 and RHEL6 at the earliest. On the other hand, it would likely be easier to maintain once done.

For packages builders, I suggest anything that installs into /bin, /sbin, /lib{,64} is probably critical, anything that does not probably is not critical.

The question arose in my mind when I tried to remove some package, I don't recall what it was now, but yum wanted to remove rpm as well.

The change that I suggest is that, if a critical package is to be removed, yum does not do it without asking even i '-y' is specified. I suggest one or both of these:
Ask, do so if confirmed and stdin is a tty.
Do so if "--force" is specified.

If stdin is not a tty, don't ask, but do it if "--force" so that it can still be scripted.



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