package management begins to annoy me
- From: Urs Thuermann <urs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 26 Feb 2009 22:20:58 +0100
I use Debian testing on 2 desktop machines and a notebook, the oldest
of them is 4-5 years old. While in the begining I found apt-get and
dpkg quite usable (but didn't like dselect), now aptitude tends more
and more to annoy me, for several reasons. Maybe, and I hope so, this
is only because i don't know apt-get and aptitude well enough.
1. aptitude has the nice feature of marking packages that are install
automatically, qhich I always missed in apt-get. But every once in
a while I check the installed package with
aptitude search . | grep ^i
(BTW, is there a simpler way to do this?) and I quite often see
installed packages, which are not marked 'A' for automatically
installed but which I definitely know I have never installed
manually. Unfortunately, I currently don't have examples at hand.
2. Every 1-2 months or so I do a
aptitude update && aptitude -R safe-upgrade
but more and more often I see aptitude wanting to bloat my
installation of currently roughly 2 GB by another 400 or 500 MB by
installing hundreds of new packages. My suspect is that
increasingly many packages have broken dependencies and want to
pull in quite a lot of other packages which they really shouldn't
However, I don't know for sure concrete examples for this, except
that 2+ years ago, I wanted to upgrade the already installed CD
ripper grip by running
aptitude install grip
and this insisted on installing almost the complete cups system. I
found this completely broken since I don't had a printer at all and
you can use grip quite well without printing.
3. On a Debian testing system at work, where I haven't upgraded for
maybe 3-4 months I ran
aptitude -R safe-upgrade
which caused aptitude to run for an hour generating thousands of
messages about resolving open/closed/defered dependency conflicts
and then giving up. I was only able to upgrade package for package
explicitly for a couple dozen packages, then safe-upgrade worked
4. On my notebook I have today safe-upgraded with -R (which caused an
increase of 140 MB to beof the installed size) and now the system
seems to be quite up-to-date. Nevertheless, I now have problems
installing new packages involving perl (like I have had several
times before). aptitude wants to upgrade perl, perl-base, and
perl-modules, then it detects some unmet dependencies
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
libglib-perl: Depends: perlapi-5.8.8 which is a virtual package.
libcompress-zlib-perl: Depends: perlapi-5.8.8 which is a virtual package.
libperl5.8: Depends: perl-base (= 5.8.8-12) but 5.10.0-19 is to be installed.
which it wants to resolve by removing
Remove the following packages:
which I don't want to accept but all other following suggestions
aren't better. In the past, upgrading perl has also caused svk to
be removed, and I wasn't able to reinstall svk although I really
5. Doing an
seems to solve these problems with perl in 4. and upgrades perl to
the current version but it also wants to install 327 new packages
increasing disk usage by 675 MB:
76 packages upgraded, 327 newly installed, 21 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
Need to get 432MB of archives. After unpacking 675MB will be used.
which find quite expensive since I only want to upgrade, not
install a whole lot of unneeded packages. With apt-get it looks
So, am I doing something completely wrong here?
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