Regardless of anything else, there really ought to be a way to mark a
package/set of packages as IMPORTANT and get yum/whatever to issue a warning
("Warning: removing this component may break the system/prevent you from
using GUI/whatever; are you sure you want to to do this?") if one of these
important packages is marked for removal.
This might lead to less reports on the mailing lists from people who
accidentally removed Xorg/KDE/GNOME/other big section of programs without
knowing that the aforementioned big section of programs is necessary to
provide the features the user expects to receive.
I'm not suggesting a prompt like the one in Vista ("Are you sure?" every 5
minutes), but I think it'd be better if the user in question was at least
warned about potentially system-breaking removals before the system goes
through with them.
rpm-4.4.9 has per-transaction dependencies that can be configured on end-user susyems.
echo "/bin/sh" >> /etc/rpm/sysinfo/Requirename
will prevent the bash package (or whatever package contains /bin/sh)
from being removed.
Yum can do this by using protect-packages plugin, apt-rpm has it's own native
mechanism. So actually the tools that do support recursively removing packages'
dependencies already support the type of protection requested here.
WONTFIX on rpm terms, but check out yum-protect-packages plugin.