on Mon, Nov 03, 2003 at 04:57:34PM -0500, Greg Stark (email@example.com) wrote: > > "Julian Mehnle" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: > > > First, I think what Daniel Jacobowitz said is entirely true. Why didn't you > > start with "testing"? > > Sure testing is less likely to trigger this. Frankly, I'd have started stable. Moving up's tons easier than moving down. As you've noted. And largely trivial. > > 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`. > > That's about the last place I would send a new user. I read that man > page about three times during this crisis before I decided it would be > hopeless to try to explain this procedure online. Explain what? Greg: Grab this file, copy it to /etc/apt/preferences: <url>/preferences Friend: OK. > This is what I meant about there not being an "interface". File copying, particularly for an experienced sysadmin, is a damned useful "interface". > If apt said "Hm, version 1.2 of libc failed to configure, would you > like to install the previous version (1.1) from testing and hold back > the following packages that depend on the new one (awk, grep, sed) > [Yn]?" That would be an interface. Pinning can get you much of the way here. Problem is that dependencies work forward: you can't be sure of getting a package in a prior release -- it may not be available. libc is a particularly pathelogical case, for all the obvious reasons. > Telling people, go edit this random file with to set "pin priorities" > for things to arbitrary numbers, find out what package dependencies > fail, add those to your list of pin priorities, etc. That's not a > useful interface for this case. Telling people to start off with unstable is about as useless. > In any case having the granularity of "stable", "testing", "unstable" > really doesn't help. All the package versions are in the pool. I want > to be able to tell apt to try such and such version, or at least put > back the version I had before and restore whatever other packages it > must to satisfy dependencies. Look: Either KISS and stick with stable, accept the pain of testing, or learn how to use pinning and come up with a perferences file that works. Your friend can copy this from any given website you can access. > I didn't say it was a good idea or that it was going to work. > My whole point is that that approach sucks and we should make > something more effective rather than leave the admin stuck. Assuming _you_ have experience with Debian, and are aware of limitations and trade-offs, you've led your friend astray. I spend a fair amount of time in IRC support for #debian. Lots of n00bs come on wanting to install Debian unstable. The advice is consistent: Don't. Not if you don't know your way around tha packaging system yet. I've had a number of friends convert to Debian -- most of them love it, aggressively. But to a one they all wanted to go straight to unstable. After nearly five years, I still hold to testing with a few exceptions handled through pins. Peace. -- Karsten M. Self <email@example.com> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/ What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand? Bush/Cheny '04: BU__SH__!
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