Re: apt-get problems.

From: Gene Heskett (
Date: 03/26/05

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    Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 10:28:24 -0500

    On Saturday 26 March 2005 07:46, Mark Lijftogt wrote:
    >On Sat, Mar 26, 2005 at 03:47:04AM -0800, mike holden wrote:
    >> I'm trying to use apt-get to update my Debian system.
    >> When I do I get a 404 error for this IP address
    >> When I try and apt-get -u upgrade. I
    >> get a Segmentation Faulty tree 0% and nothing happens.
    >> I've only used Slackware and never had the pleasure of
    >> using apt-get. any help would be appreciated. Thank
    >> you :)
    >apt-get, lovely tool.

    Ahh, yes, when it, or synaptic can be coaxed into working.

    Unforch, if you attempt to bypass it by building from tarballs, those
    programs that you need on your system, and which the package
    manager/provider has not provided in a timely manner, you soon can
    get your system into a state where trying to do something totally
    unrelated to the program you are trying to install or upgrade, simply
    is not possible because the system, while working perfectly, is in an
    unclean state and apt-get then insists on ripping out 200
    programs/files to establish a clean system before it will even think
    about doing what it is that you asked it to.

    The revelent lines that explain this are in chapter 3.3 of the link
    below, and read like this:

    As you can see in the above example, APT also takes care of removing
    packages which depend on the package you have asked to remove. There
    is no way to remove a package using APT without also removing those
    packages that depend on it.


    And that to me, is apt-gets achilles heel, it absolutely forces you to
    use the packageing system its setup for. There seems to be no way to
    scratch a major itch without getting into a dependency hell that
    simply does not exist on the working system.

    For instance, red hat in their infinite wisdom and builtin bias toward
    gnome, has a version of cups in their fc2 distro that kills any
    printer related kde app and much of kde itself just by hovering the
    mouse over it in the menu's. So I, thinking it was kde's fault,
    built the whole kde 3.3.0 release using konstruct. While I then had
    a kde install that was, with one exception, far more stable and
    useable than the rpm install had ever been, this kill kde by just
    hovering the mouse over kprinter phenomenon still existed. As red
    hat was in no great hurry to update cups, I did an rpm -e cups on
    version 1.1.18, and built first 1.1.19, then 1.1.20 from tarballs.
    At 1.1.20 the problem finally went away and I'm currently using
    1.1.22. From tarball. Over the years, several other usefull
    programs, like sane/xsane. gimp, gimp-print (now gutenprint-5.0beta2)
    have all been installed via similar means for similar reasons.

    So what does apt-get want to do? Rip out, with no replacement, every
    program/library that these very valuable to me programs might make
    use of, thereby totally hoseing a absolutely working system. The
    last time I checked with synaptic, that was about 45 other packages,
    some of which are linked to/used by several hundred other installed
    programs, and there seems to be no sane, the system keeps on working,
    way out of this dependency hell.

    There really needs to be a switch one could set to tell apt-get to
    ignore that which has nothing to do with the program being evaluated
    for installation. In that manner, it might be possible to gradually
    bring a system *it* thinks is hosed, back into compliance one program
    at a time as the newer versions do become available. Its all or
    nothing attitude is unbecoming at best and renders it a far less
    usefull tool than it should be.

    Now, if we had a program that would allow the editing of the installed
    packages database, doing it in an error correcting mostly automatic
    manner (the tools to obtain the linkage dependencies are available I
    believe) so that apt-get does know the pertinant details of what
    you've installed from the tarball, one could with a bit of diligence,
    bring the system back into compliance with the apt-get defined view
    of the world.

    Lacking that tool, our systems work very well indeed but we are still
    hosed and prevented from making use what is otherwise a truely great
    tool. So we go get the new tarball and install it instead, thereby
    compounding the issue at an ever higher rate.

    >Look at the extra info you can find in the ATP-Howto;
    >First of all, you need to tell apt what locations you wish to use,
    >and that's done by editting the /etc/apt/sources.list (chapter 2.1)
    >later on, when you got an mirror you can use, and you got rid of
    >the 404 errors, the apt-get update && apt-get upgrade will run
    >smoothly, and you can take a peak at netselect-apt if you wish
    >(chapter 2.3).
    >Read thru the howto, and keep it handy whenever you find yourself
    >in a situation where apt is calling the shots.
    >Good luck,
    > ,Mark

    Cheers, Gene
    "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
     soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
    -Ed Howdershelt (Author)
    99.34% setiathome rank, not too shabby for a WV hillbilly and AOL/TW attorneys please note, additions to the above
    message by Gene Heskett are:
    Copyright 2005 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.
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