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Re: A case study of a new user turned off debian

On Mon, Nov 03, 2003 at 03:05:56PM -0500, Greg Stark wrote:
> I finally convinced a sysadmin friend of mine that Debian was the way and the
> light. He started a new job and showed up on his first day to set up his
> machine by installing Debian. In short, things went horribly wrong and he
> started this new job by wasting two days picking up the pieces. He's now very
> leery of suggesting using Debian on other machines at work or of using it
> himself at home.
> What started the chain of events was that a fairly routine minor bug bit the
> latest libc6 release. He's an experienced sysadmin though and wasn't the least
> bit fazed by that. What drove him batty was that it was so hard to recover
> from the mess and all the obvious avenues just made the problem worse.
> All he had to do was install an older version of libc6 and every other package
> would have been happy. All the infrastructure is there to do this, the old
> packages are all on the ftp/http sites, the package may even be sitting in
> apt's cache. But there's no interface for it.
> The only interface for rolling back is switching the entire machine to an
> earlier distribution and telling apt to try to downgrade -- which is unlikely
> to work. And worse, every time you run apt it only downloads and unpacks
> *more* packages, all of which, of course, fail as well.
> What would be really neat would be if aptitude or perhaps even apt checked for
> earlier versions of the package in the pool and offered them as options if the
> current one fails to configure.

<insert usual rant about new users that start with unstable deserving
what they get>

No, really.  This is what stable and testing releases are for.

Daniel Jacobowitz
MontaVista Software                         Debian GNU/Linux Developer

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