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

Julian Mehnle <lists@mehnle.net> wrote:
>Greg Stark <gsstark@mit.edu> wrote:
>> [...]
>First, I think what Daniel Jacobowitz said is entirely true.  Why didn't you 
>start with "testing"?
>> 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.
>Wrong.  If, on a "unstable" system, Apt sources for "testing" are also listed 
>in /etc/apt/sources.list, you can always do a `apt-get -t testing install 
>libc6` or `apt-get install libc6/testing`.
>Or, you could create a file /etc/apt/preferences and pin the "testing" 
>version of the package with a high enough priority.  See `man 
>apt_preferences`.  Then do a `apt-get dist-upgrade`.

It gets better.  ;-)  Look at 'man apt-get', in the 'install' section:

              A specific version of a package can be selected for installation
              by  following the package name with an equals and the version of
              the package to select.  This  will  cause  that  version  to  be
              located  and selected for install.

Find out what version you want, and if it's in the cache, or anywhere in 
sources.list, you can get it.  If necessary pass --force-yes (also 

If that doesn't work, download the appropriate debs, and do
dpkg --force=downgrade --install foo.deb bar.deb ....
(I found that under 'man dpkg'.)

OK, so if you didn't know that 'apt-get' and 'dpkg' are the interesting 
programs, you'd have trouble finding this information.  But surely you knew 
of at least *one* of the two of them?

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