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    apt-get, dselect, deity confusion
    Contributed by CaptainRotundo on Friday, April 26 @ 01:03:05 BST

    Ask Debianplanet
    With all the arguments over the best way to "apt-get upgrade" ones box, I was wondering why Debian (or somebody outside Debian) doesn't use a system more like Ximian's Red Carpet. What would stop one from modifying Red Carpet to work with a non-Ximian server? Wouldn't this be a readily available super-userfriendly apt-get front end?

    Robot101: Nothing needs to happen here really. Red Carpet is available in woody and sid to anyone who wants it. The choice is there for all Debian users, just like we offer so many MTAs, ftpds, and everything else. However, it's unlikely that dselect will disappear any time soon as a de-facto default, because it's the only one that has the dubious virtue of being integrated with dpkg. I believe this is scheduled to change, however.

    As an aside, Red Carpet isn't actually an apt front-end though, unlike aptitude, deity, gnome-apt, kpackage, and what dselect has become (it's been retro-fitted =). Ximian made a deb/rpm independent package decision-making engine for Red Carpet, which is said to cope with either system.

    Correction by Joy: red-carpet is available in sid, but not in woody. I found this out a few weeks back when I updated the woody release page with names of additional frontends.

    Robot101: Just as well, it doesn't seem to work. I recommend everyone check out stormpkg or synaptic if they want a GUI apt frontend.

     
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  • "apt-get, dselect, deity confusion" | Login/Create Account | 49 comments
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    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 01:34:41 BST

    kpackage and gnome-apt work just fine for me. Although I get tired of huge downloads (even when using apt-get from the shell), and get the dreaded "broken pipe" error when installing the files.

    I also hate how package conflicts occur, yet uninstalling and then re-installing the same packages, but in different order, fixes these problems. Surely apt could be a little smarter.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 06:35:50 BST

    That is mostly the fault of the packages themselves. It has nothing to do with apt. Apt builds a dependancy tree based on information the package provides. Package ordering problems often occur when tracking the testing or unstable distributions, especially as files are moved from one package to the other (this happens a lot in KDE, for example) Obviously, you are following testing or unstable if this is happening to you. -- Did you not read the disclaimer?

    Again, it's not apt that is at fault. Each package has to track a lot of other package names - dependencies, build-dependencies, conflicts, replaces, and provides. Apt has a set of rules for how these are interpreted, but all package management frontends need to understand how apt interprets dependencies before they can be accurate in presenting conflicts, etc to you. If apt changes a rule, then kpackage must alter itself to match.

    Yet again, when either of these problems I mentioned get fixed by the package maintainer, they will often manifest themselves as you described. Take for example a package that has a conflicts: directive that is wrong. Let's say package 'foo' is marked as conflicting with package 'bar' in the version of foo that you have installed. Now, you want to install the new version of foo (without a 'bar' conflict) and you want to install 'bar'. Since there is potentially no explicit rule in the 'bar' package that requires the upgraded version of 'foo' before it expects that it can be installed, attempting to install 'bar' will either result in failure, or the uninstallation of 'foo,' yet installing 'foo' before installing 'bar' will yield the correct result.

    That, again is what happens following testing or unstable. If you seem to hate it that much, go back to stable. Dist-upgrade on the release, and you shouldn't have any problems.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, April 27 @ 07:12:30 BST

    But, there is no reason why, if I request both foo and bar at the same time, it couldn't figure out which to install first, correct?

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by Integral on Saturday, April 27 @ 20:28:22 BST
    (User Info)

    But, there is no reason why, if I request both foo and bar at the same time, it couldn't figure out which to install first, correct?

    If the packages properly declare conflicts/replaces, yes; however, if they don't, apt and dpkg are allowed to install them in any order. It can't magically intuit that the package maintainer screwed up.

    Daniel

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, April 27 @ 20:29:28 BST

    Not true.

    when installing something like kdebase apt-get migth say something like:

    ... kdebase depends on kdelibs but it is not going to be installed.

    one then can trey something like "apt-get install kdebase kdelibs" - and there you go without removing anything it happely installs them both.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 11:54:14 BST

    kpackage in particular is a nice little program. Particularly when compared with GnoRPM, which is a practically unusable piece of doggy doo doo.

    I have not tried gnome-apt, but I shall.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 22:20:04 BST

    gnome-apt is also an unusable piece of doggy doo doo. Try stormpkg (apr-get install stormpkg in sid, I dunno about woody).

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by grolschie on Wednesday, May 01 @ 00:12:38 BST
    (User Info)

    gnome-apt shows a nice alphabetical listing of apps, very handy. But is not 100% front-end for apt. This is because you click to install the selected packages, and there are problems (esp with cds). I use it to find a package, then use the commandline apt-get.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by Robot101 (robot11@debian.org) on Friday, April 26 @ 12:11:05 BST
    (User Info)

    Yes, usually these errors are due to maintainers neglecting to Replace: or Conflict: old versions of their packages. You *can* rig apt to tell dpkg to clobber files indiscriminately, but that's a bad idea. Much better to file a bug on the package using reportbug.

    On this topic, I'm pondering a system whereby a fresh stable chroot with the standard and tasks packages is automatically upgraded to unstable every day, to flush out those packages which have the problems, at least generating a list, if not automatically filing bugs. Most people tracking testing/unstable do so on an intermittent basis, not usually upgrading from stable, which people start trying to do at or near a release, when all these stupid problems are found.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by keyman on Friday, April 26 @ 13:50:23 BST
    (User Info)

    Well, there is a port of Synaptic (from Conectiva), that is a really good frontend fot apt.

    Red Carpet is really good for rpm's... i think that Synaptic was made for apt.

    apt-get install synaptic ....it rules 🙂

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 3, Funny)
    by oyenstikker (ude.tir@7923bms) on Friday, April 26 @ 04:15:43 BST
    (User Info) http://sandra.rh.rit.edu/~sbyrne/

    A user friendly apt-get dist-upgrade? I can see it now. . .A pretty icon that launches a pretty window with one pretty button that says "dist-upgrade". You click it, and it calls xterm -e apt-get dist-upgrade.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, May 02 @ 18:41:44 BST

    LOL

    That sounds exactly like Libranet's xadminmenu.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0, Insighful)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 04:54:50 BST

    red carpet doesn't impress me.

    sorry but ummm...it doesn't get easier than...

    "apt-get dist-upgrade"

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 04:56:08 BST

    ...if that worked in all cases with no "broken pipe" problems.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: -1, Flamebait)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 06:37:18 BST

    ahh shut up. i already told you to stay with stable if you dont like tracking testing/unstable. That is the only reason this is happening to you.

    dist-upgrade from one stable release to the next will go without a hitch

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 07:25:46 BST

    Well a nice wee app that can magically fix conflicts when running stable but trying to run newer versions of gnome, xfree, kde from testing or ximians deb pool, this would be nice. I can understand that many packages in testing are indeed testing and not stable. Isn't this debate about solving these issues? Many people use stable, but grab a few newer upgrades due to Debian Potato being pre-historic. And, before you say, no I won't go to an rpm based dist.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 19:27:15 BST

    That's a problem with your connection not apt-get.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, April 27 @ 12:34:52 BST

    ...if that worked in all cases with no "broken pipe" problems.

    Strange how it never works for trolls, while it works perfectly well for everyone else.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Monday, April 29 @ 00:31:15 BST

    Thanks for you kind words Mr Anonymous. Was that really called for? Just an end-user having problems with apt, and hoping a general solution may emerge.

    The truth is just-like rpm, apt is not immune to problems. Insulting people whose experience differs from yours, don't make them a troll.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 05:12:36 BST

    Well red-carpet give breif descriptions of what has changed in a new release, and has a handy "news" feature. If there were something like this that was debian specific it could be interresting. The current red-carpet really isn't super Debian friendly, it connects to ximians servers, and most the ximian channels are empty unless you run Potato (I assume that'll change to Woody when it is stable) and it also seperates updates based on urgency. just an easier way to gather information about upgrades quickly

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 06:22:23 BST

    Install the following packages:

    aptitude

    apt-listchanges

    Subscribe to the debian weekly newsletter at:

    debian-news@lists.debian.org

    Run aptitude in an xterm and viola, a point and click (or not) interface to your packages. Put any on hold that are too big to download. Scroll through them to find out what they are. On upgrading, apt-listchanges will show you the package changelogs. [incedentally, it could show you this too BEFORE the package is downloaded if the cgi script that returns package changelogs from debian.org were ever fixed. it's been YEARS now. HELLO?!?!?!?!]

    Anyway, that's about as close as it gets right now. I can see that it wouldn't be too difficult to have an aptitude-like X package manager (or put an X face on aptitude). Couple that with a X frontend for the package configuration tool, get the changelog cgi's back online, write some scripts that HTMLify the debian weekly news and stick it in the X interface and you have basically a (better) and debian-aware red carpet like update utility.

    The reason it doesn't exist now is probably this: normal average joes who are not intimate with their debian systems should not have to do anything except run an occasional update from security.debian.org. Packages in stable should change basically once - whenever a new release comes out. Red Carpet is designed to roll out updated *versions* of software in addition to the security fixes. I can't imagine trying to do something like upgrade your entire distribution with Red carpet - that would be insane! Can you imagine browsing through 2500 packages or an average user getting the power whether or not to upgrade the 'binutils' package

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by Integral on Friday, April 26 @ 12:51:04 BST
    (User Info)

    Run aptitude in an xterm and viola

    I just thought I should make it clear that aptitude does not include or run in string instruments of any kind. 🙂

    can see that it wouldn't be too difficult to have an aptitude-like X package manager (or put an X face on aptitude).

    Well, ~90% of the code is curses-specific, so my plans for an X-ish frontend are fairly far in the future.

    Daniel

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by fizz on Friday, April 26 @ 15:45:37 BST
    (User Info)

    I was testing out aptitude for a little while and really liked it untill it decided to uninstall apache (which granted was an easy reinstall but still). Maybe it's just a setting that I missed somewhere to have it not automaticly uninstall something if the dependancies fail (that would make the most sence as to why it did it in the first place, I think)

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by macshit on Sunday, April 28 @ 13:56:18 BST
    (User Info)

    I agree, aptitude is much better than dselect, and much, much, better than `deity' (rather silly name that).

    It's perhaps a little less pretty than the X interfaces, but it's infinitely more functional too.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 08:04:48 BST

    Have you ever tried Connectiva's synaptic?

    Works fine under Debian.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 09:25:14 BST

    Yeah synaptic does kick ass. I used it for a while even before it was in the package system because it looked so pretty. It's in woody:

    http://packages.debian.org/testing/admin/synaptic.html

    The only downside is the use of the WINGs API for the interface. It makes it look out of place unless you're using something based on the nextstep look-and-feel. Oh well, wmaker and afterstep users rejoice! 😉

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by keyman on Friday, April 26 @ 16:13:20 BST
    (User Info)

    Synaptic rocks!!!

    It really rules 😉

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 18:19:39 BST

    synaptic is really nice. I am using WindowMaker and it fits nicely in this environment.

    However, I got a segfault after fiddling with search filters, so its not entirely stable, I will look if I can reproduce the error.

    In the meanwhile I am using dselect as I have for the last 3 years 😉

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 16:00:34 BST

    I just had a look at synaptic, and I'm impressed.

    One thing, though: probably the main reason that

    I've stuck to dselect for so long is that I like

    the way it presents me with a list of any new

    packages that have become available since the

    last update. Does synaptic (or anything else

    apart from dselect, for that matter) do this?

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 26 @ 19:03:09 BST

    Wow just checked out synaptic, and it looks like this is what I've been wanting. very nice indeed. I think I will use it for a while and see what its like. I certainly hated aptitude and dselect from the start and gnome-apts interface is terrible.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by macshit on Monday, April 29 @ 04:50:49 BST
    (User Info)

    I certainly hated aptitude and dselect from the start and gnome-apts interface is terrible.

    If you haven't checked out aptitude recently, you should really do so -- it used to kinda suck, but it's improved immensely; now it's by far the best interface out there, IM(NS)HO.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by Integral on Friday, April 26 @ 20:13:10 BST
    (User Info)

    (or anything else apart from dselect, for that matter)

    aptitude does this.

    Daniel

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by CivilDisobedience on Friday, April 26 @ 17:39:47 BST
    (User Info) http://inittab.tripod.com

    synaptic and gnome-apt already exist in the debian archives. i use gnome-apt occaisionally (although i generally just use apt-get straight up). there are probably some other ones out there too, but if you lik red-carpet and want to do modify it, then try... shouldn't be too hard. if i remember correctly, red-carpet actually does point to a debian mirror, just not a customizeable one (e.g. always on potato, always on their server)

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by Robot101 (robot11@debian.org) on Friday, April 26 @ 23:09:26 BST
    (User Info)

    I'm suddenly reminded of stormpkg, which was Stormix 's (a now defunct Debian derivative, alas) package management thing. It's for GNOME/Gtk and at the time I remember it being quite decent, if somewhat yellow. =)

    [ Reply ]


    Question regarding apt, dpkg & rpm (Score: 1)
    by grolschie (radel[at]bigfoot[dot]com) on Friday, April 26 @ 23:46:32 BST
    (User Info)

    Ok, don't flame me for asking a dumb question:

    Don't these package installers all have their own separate databases of packages installed? If you use rpm and apt together won't you have problems? eg. If I install a system using apt, won't rpm think some packages I have installed aren't there?

    How does all this affect conflicts, and packages overwriting over package files?

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Question regarding apt, dpkg & rpm (Score: 1)
    by MadHack (mike@nospam.markley.org) on Friday, April 26 @ 23:57:02 BST
    (User Info) http://www.madhack.com/~madhack

    Yeah, rpm and dpkg keep separate databases of this stuff, so with those you'd run into the problem where one package manager wouldn't see what's been installed via the other.

    However, what's being discussed in this thread are all front-ends to either dpkg or apt (which is itself a front-end to dpkg), so unless you're installing with the "rpm" command, it all ends up at dpkg anyway. And if you *desperately* need to install a .rpm, there's always the "alien" command to turn it into a .deb first.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Question regarding apt, dpkg & rpm (Score: 1)
    by grolschie (radel[at]bigfoot[dot]com) on Sunday, April 28 @ 02:34:57 BST
    (User Info)

    And if you *desperately* need to install a .rpm, there's always the "alien" command to turn it into a .deb first.

    Really? Thanks for that. Can we turn major rpm's into .deb's ie X or KDE? Or is it just small packages?

    Whatever, it is good news for me, because whenever I see an new piece of software to install, there are never any debs, and I have to compile myself.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Question regarding apt, dpkg & rpm (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 01 @ 22:54:47 BST

    Ever since I started using debian sid, I've practically never had to install anything from source. Almost everything is in the archive, or at least on some unofficial apt source...

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Question regarding apt, dpkg & rpm (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, May 10 @ 05:17:35 BST

    Avoid using alien if a proper Debian package is available. Debian often does things differently (sometimes more intelligently too!), and RPM packages won't integrate very well with the rest of the system.

    [ Reply ]


    Still crashes on SID ... (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, April 27 @ 11:42:34 BST

    I tried to run red-carpet (1.3-1.ximian.4) on SID , but it crashes directly on start-up.

    Any other version says it needs to upgrade and restart.

    After this 'automatic' upgrade it runs, but I am unable to click on any button.

    OK, closed red-carpet to restart it -> boom - Crash.

    Anyone out there got it to run on SID ?

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Still crashes on SID ... (Score: 1)
    by Robot101 (robot11@debian.org) on Saturday, April 27 @ 12:56:01 BST
    (User Info)

    It looks quite screwed. It doesn't build on any non-i386 arches. That's why it's not in woody. =)

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Still crashes on SID ... (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, April 27 @ 13:05:16 BST

    Are you running ximian's gnome or debian's gnome? The past has told us it's not a good idea to mix these.

    Debian has its own packaged red-carpet . You might want to try that one!

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Still crashes on SID ... (Score: 1)
    by Robot101 (robot11@debian.org) on Saturday, April 27 @ 16:26:21 BST
    (User Info)

    It was the Debian red-carpet I was talking about. 😉

    [ Reply ]


    Me too (Score: 1)
    by grolschie (radel[at]bigfoot[dot]com) on Sunday, April 28 @ 02:38:26 BST
    (User Info)

    I have also had Ximians Red Carpet crashing when trying to start.

    Are we not advised to have Ximian servers added to our apt sources list? That may explain why I have been getting the "broken pipe" errors. However, in the next day or two, they seem to get fixed by newer updates though.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Me too (Score: 1)
    by Robot101 (robot11@debian.org) on Sunday, April 28 @ 04:24:33 BST
    (User Info)

    The only time it's wise to have Ximian in your sources list is if you run potato, *need* the stable platform, but want a new/cute GNOME. Running Ximian on woody or sid ranges from pointless on the one hand, to risky on the other.

    [ Reply ]


    Do any of these provide an easy way to ... (Score: 1)
    by wytcld on Sunday, April 28 @ 18:36:09 BST
    (User Info)

    What I like (need) to do is run stable systems, but bring certain programs (mostly daemons) up to their very latest versions. I know there is a way to take a tar and produce a deb that will be recognized by the local database, so that apt-get or whatever doesn't overwrite the custom-installed software. But do any of the installers have a more direct option with an interface to the local database where the user can just indicate "I have taken full responsibility for (Apache, Perl, whatever), am installing my own version from now to whenever, so just leave it alone." That is, I want the convenience of "apt-get dist-upgrade" but I do _not_ want to have to take extra steps to create a deb each time I build something from tar - there's enough work there already in tweaking a build of some daemons without an extra step which is less convenient than just being able to send a command to some part of Debian that just says, "Here's a list of programs that at _most_ you can send me compatibility warnings about - assume that they are always current versions, and _never_ attempt to upgrade them." So do any of the more current interfaces include hooks into the mechanisms that control this stuff?

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Do any of these provide an easy way to ... (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Monday, April 29 @ 08:59:10 BST

    I have a file /etc/apt/preferences, which contains:


    Package: *

    Pin: release a=unstable

    Pin-Priority: 50

    What this means (if I remember correctly) that by default it will not use unstable for anything, unless I do a apt-get install foo/unstable. Then 'foo' is installed from unstable, and if I still remember correctly, it'll keep 'current' with unstable.

    You'll have to search to see if what I'm telling is right, but this could solve your problem I think with just plain apt-get.

    Chris Niekel

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Do any of these provide an easy way to ... (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, May 02 @ 12:41:20 BST

    I don't know if this is what you're talking about, but ...

    You can take the source for packages from unstable and build them for stable. Doesn't require you to any messing about with control files yourself, so it's not that difficult.

    Check out this file for more:

    http://www.debian.org/doc/FAQ/ch-pkg_basics.html#s-sourcepkgs

    Note that you can download the separate dsc, orig.tar.gz and diff.gz files from the packages.debian.org pages.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: apt-get, dselect, deity confusion (Score: 1)
    by Glanz (ms-sucks@fuckmicrosoft.com) on Thursday, May 02 @ 13:38:04 BST
    (User Info) http://www.extremetech.com

    Well, after doing an apt-get synaptic, and having tested it for a few days now, I must say that it smokes, both for debs and RPMs. It is worth having even if it isnt used for updating just to have a look see in the list of apps available and the status of what's installed. I haven't run into any probs with it at all, but then again I AM using Debian! 🙂 I can't thank you enough for that heads up Captain!!!! I didn't know it was available via APT.

    [ Reply ]


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