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Available file (was Re: Is there a "Pseudo Mirror Kit"?)

On Thu, 1 Mar 2001, bbennet wrote:

> Can someone explain why apt-get update will not make a new 
> /var/lib/dpkg/available?

/var/lib/dpkg/available is a file used only by dselect. (And tasksel, but I
consider that a grave bug.) It only matches apt-cache dumpavail if dselect is
set to use the apt [A]ccess method, and is updated only if you [U]pdate from
within dselect (which then calls /usr/lib/dpkg/methods/apt/update).

If you have told dselect to use the dpkg-ftp [A]ccess method, then dpkg-ftp
will supply the contents for /var/lib/dpkg/available when [U]pdating in

You can easily alternate between using dselect-with-dpkg-ftp and apt-get-from-
commandline; they're separate front-ends that use separate "available" files.
And you don't want one front-end to mess with files of another.

Actually, seen from an organizational point of view the package management is
a complete mess, mostly because historically there has never been a good
separation of functionality. For example it should have been
/var/lib/_dselect_/available and /usr/lib/_dselect_/methods/apt/update.
This is a well-known issue, but pretty hard to resolve. And it isn't really
broken, so there's no real urge to fix it.

  Anne Bezemer

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