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Tips for debugging/testing debian/control Depends/Breaks etc changes?


I've noticed I've spent quite a lot of time debugging various
situations where the debian/control definitions for
depends/breaks/replaces/conflicts/provides are not optimal.

The waste of time is two-fold:

1) apt is not verbose enough
2) the cycle to rebuild/tests is too slow

As an example of 1, sometimes I see this:

apt install mariadb-client
 The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 mariadb-client : Depends: mariadb-client-10.5 (>= 1:10.5.10) but it
is not going to be installed

apt install mariadb-client-10.5
 Installing.. Done!

When this happens I have no idea why apt did not resolve the
dependency by itself automatically, as there was no real conflict in
installing it.

Do you have tips on how to debug the root cause of situations like these?

For the problem 2, I hate to rebuild all of the packages (and
binaries) just because there was a change in debian/control and go
through the hassle of updating a test repo etc.

I wonder if there is some other "lighter" way to just edit the
debian/control and produce new binary packages with them updated
without having to actually build new binary packages (and no, editing
the .deb files manually and repackaging them with 'ar' is not an
option that would make life easier).

Thanks for any tips you have on the topic!

- Otto

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