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Bug#867081: autopkgtest: @ no longer pulls in packages with versioned Provides

On Mon, Jul 03, 2017 at 10:40:45PM +0300, Niko Tyni wrote:
> Package: autopkgtest
> Version: 4.4
> User: debian-perl at lists.debian.org
> Usertags: versioned-provides
> X-Debbugs-Cc: debian-perl at lists.debian.org
> As seen on ci.debian.net with for instance libhttp-tiny-perl and
> libcpan-meta-perl, autopkgtest gets confused about versioned Provides
> that were introduced in sid recently with perl_5.24.1-5.
> It looks like "Depends: @" will no longer pull in the binary packages
> to be tested if the same name is also Provided by installed packages
> with a version.
> My reading of the autopkgtest code is that it synthesizes a dependency
> on 'package (>= 0~)', where the versioning is assumed to guarantee that
> only a real package gets pulled in. This assumption no longer holds with
> versioned Provides.

Oh, I'd mostly forgotten about #761003 which introduced the '(>= 0~)'
thing three years ago and where we predicted that this will break with
versioned Provides.

The solution we discussed there was to insert an additional explicit
 apt-get install <package>
phase to the autopkgtest-satdep.deb installation (which unpacks a
temporary package and then calls 'apt-get --fix-missing' to have apt solve
the dependencies.)

This explicit call prefers real packages to virtual ones (at least in
all my tests though I can't find this documented; possibly this should
be checked with the apt maintainers.)

Is this approach something you would consider now that the versioned
Provides issue has materialized in practice?
Niko Tyni   ntyni at debian.org

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