Re: bugs + rant + constructive criticism (long)
>>>>> " " == Erik Hollensbe <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> Some packages refuse to install, and of course, break apt in
> the process. Right now, I'm *hopefully* going to be able to
> repair a totally hosed server that failed an apt-get because
> MAN AND GROFF failed to install properly, ending the upgrade
> process and therefore stopping the install of all the
> perl/debian-perl packages except the binary, rendering apt
> practically useless.
Try to configure the unpacked packages with "dpkg --configure
--pending". Helps a lot most of the time. Apart from that have a look
at what gets updatet. If you update 200 Packages of unstable in one go
you will kill your system with 99% certainty. Be a bit selective and
do "apt-get install <packages>" for the major components like libc,
perl, apt, dpkg before updating all the other stuff.
I know that should not be neccessary, but with unstable, being unstable,
I found that a good way to reduce the likelyhood of unneccessary
packages breaking vital once.
> No doubt the failure of man and groff has to do with the
> problem that i've been having with many other packages, which I
> will detail below.
> Please, please, please, please... Checking your shell scripts
> for SYNTAX ERRORS is not a bad idea before you submit it to the
> package repository! You have no idea how many times, that I
> have helped people in #debian on OPN fix shell script errors
> for packages like mysql-server, which, could have easily
> rendered a semi-production system completely dead (hopefully
> they compile from source, but that's not the point, is it?)
> simply because someone forgot a bracket or used the wrong 'set'
> parameters in their script.
> Other issues with apt in general - there is no OBVIOUS way
> (short of reading the APT/DPKG perl classes) to force certain
> For instance - install package 'realplayer', then, upgrade your
> copy of xfree86-server or xfree86-common, and watch them fail
> as it tries to write to a file in /etc/X11. I don't think I
> need to go into detail about how much stuff like this pisses
> off the average user. rpm anyone? (no, apt-get -f install does
> not work, so don't even bother)
Did you file a bugreport?
> And why are packages being REMOVED (lib-pg-perl for example)
> when I dist upgrade?
RTFM, thats what dist-upgrade is for. probably a conflicts of some
> apt-get and it's kin need more simple getopt-style flags that
> allow overriding of certain things, mainly conflicts. Also, an
> option to actually view what's being upgraded before you
> download 250 packages that are only going to break your system
> would be nice as well.
apt-get -u dist-upgrade
Also do an "apt-get -u update" first. That won't change wich packages
are installed, but only update whats possible.
> I dunno - I was using debian back when hamm was released, and I
> have never seen such an utter mess of incompatibilities and
> stupid human error even in the worst mess of unstable upgrades
> (which happens, and is understandable). Almost all of this is
> due to a significant lack of adequate testing by package
Your are the tester, keep testing and FILE BUGREPORTS.
Alltogether I must say that unstable has become better and better. For
the last 3 years I never had to reinstall stable after an unstable
update. For the last year I didn't need a rescue disk after an
unstable update. For the last month I didn't even had an error on
update (but I haven't updatetd for the last 3 weeks, so that might