Every time a new version of Krita is released I see somewhere a post where someone lists the output of their distribtion package manager and complains about the number of dependencies and the installation size. In the past dependencies used to be a huge problem where the connections between the packages causes a chains of dependencies at which end you e.g. needed install a MySQL server.
Since the arrival of KDE Frameworks the dependencies between the packages were reorganized which in theory should reduce the required dependencies and installation size. So I wanted to find out how different distributions handled it and if there is really a reduction.
For the experiment I installed several distributions in VirtualBox and checked how many packages they would install for the distributions default Krita installation and how big the installation size would be. For each distribution I used the latest available 64-bit version. I picked distributions with deb, rpm and arch packing to get a few different approaches to the problem. To simulate the maximum dependency case I used only desktops that are based on GTK.
Below is the data I gathered.
Still packing Krita 2.9:
- Packages: 175
- Installation size: 488 MB
Mint 18.1 Cinnamon
- Packages: 115
- Installation size: 374 MB
At the time of testing Ubuntu and Mint still delivered Krita 2.9 based on Qt 4 despite 3.0 being out for several months. For some reason Krita package does have still have dependencies on KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt 5. Beside that Ubuntu does also install a complete Ruby development environment.
I also looked at Debian 8.6 which still features Krita 2.8.5 with an 138 package and 414 MB installation size. However the packages are so outdated that they can’t be compared to the current ones.
Manjaro XFCE Edition (16.10.3)
- Packages: 38
- Installation size: 211 MB
OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 with GNOME installed
- Packages: 69
- Installation size: 163 MB
- Packages: 59
- Installation size: 226 MB
Not very surprising here is that the number of installed packages and installation size is quite low. OpenSUSE may already have some bits installed which could explain the slightly lower installation size. All three have very clean dependencies without anything from Qt 4 times. There are very little dependency chains with KIO and it’s dependencies being the biggest one.
In comparion the Krita 2.9 installation from Fedora 24 has 66 packages and 308 MB installation size. A Krita 3.o installation without any new KDE Frameworks and Qt 5 packages on KDE Neon comes in at 96 MB installation size.
KDE Frameworks actually reduces Krita dependencies and installation size on non-KDE systems significantly. Factoring out the net installtion size of Krita, the dependency size almost halfed compared to Qt 4 times. Even on smaller currently sold storage devices the installation should take less than 1% of the storage capacity, so it’s practically not an issue anymore.
Packaging on Ubuntu-based distribution appears to be a mess at the moment. If you are using these distributions and want a recent Krita without tons of dependencies I would recommend looking at the Snap or the Appimage which already delivers Krita 3.1.
Even on the other distributions the Appimage is a serious alternative if you only want to run the newest Krita.
If you use another distribution feel free to post the numbers in the comments. I wonder if some distribution does a much better or worse job.