Bug#103839: marked as done (enhanced dselect manpage)
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and subject line Bug#103839: fixed in dpkg 1.10
has caused the attached Bug report to be marked as done.
This means that you claim that the problem has been dealt with.
If this is not the case it is now your responsibility to reopen the
Bug report if necessary, and/or fix the problem forthwith.
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Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2001 21:21:31 +0200
Subject: enhanced dselect manpage
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joost Kooij)
For the sake of weeping kernel developers and clueless newbies alike,
I have rewritten the dselect manpage to a large extent. The nroff
is probably pretty pathetic, but that was considered less important
than the text. Maybe someone wants to docbookify it.
If I am blantantly incorrect in places, please let me know.
It even has the new 'n' key documented (the online help in
dselect still doesn't, btw).
.\" Hey, Emacs! This is an -*- nroff -*- source file.
.TH DSELECT 8 "July 2001" "Debian Project" "Debian GNU/Linux"
dselect \- Debian package handling frontend
[--admindir <directory>] [--help] [--version] [--licence | --license]
[--expert] [--debug <file> | -D <file>] [\fI<action>\fP]
is the primary user interface for managing packages on a Debian system.
At the \fBdselect\fP main menu, the system administrator can:
- Update the list of available package versions,
- View the status of installed and available packages,
- Alter package selections and manage dependencies,
- Install new packages or upgrade to newer versions.
operates as a front-end to \fBdpkg(8)\fP, the low-level debian package
handling tool. It features a full-screen package selections manager
with package depends and conflicts resolver. When run with adminitrator
priviledges, packages can be installed, upgraded and removed. Various
access methods can be configured to retrieve available package version
information and installable packages from package repositories.
Depending on the used access method, these repositories can be public
archive servers on the internet, local archive servers or cdroms.
The recommended access method is \fIapt\fP, which is provided by the
Normally \fBdselect\fP is invoked without parameters. An interactive
menu is presented, offering the user a list of actions. If an action
is given as argument, then that action is started immediately. Several
commandline parameters are still available to modify the running behaviour
of \fBdselect\fP or show additional information about the program.
All options can be specified both on the commandline and in the \fBdselect\fP
configuration file \fI/etc/dpkg/dselect.cfg\fP. Each line in the
configuration file is either an option (exactly the same as the
commandline option but without leading dashes) or a comment (if it starts
with a \fB#\fR).
.B --admindir <directory>
Changes the directory where the dpkg `status', `available' and similar
files are located. This defaults to \fI/var/lib/dpkg\fP
and normally there shouldn't be any need to change it.
.B --debug <file> | -D<file>
Turn on debugging. Debugging information is sent to \fI<file>\fP.
Turns on expert mode, i.e. doesn't display possibly annoying help
Print a brief help text and exit successfully.
.B --licence | --license
Displays the \fBdselect\fP copyright and license information and exits
Print version information and exit successfully.
is started interactively, it prompts the user with a menu of available
Choose and configure an access method to access package repositories.
By default, \fBdselect\fP provides several methods such
as \fIfloppy\fP, \fIharddisk\fP or \fIcdrom\fP, but other packages
may provide additional methods, eg. the \fIapt\fP access method provided
by the \fBapt\fP package or \fImulti_cd\fP by the \fBdpkg-multicd\fP
The use of the \fIapt\fP access method is strongly recommended.
Refresh the available packages database.
Retrieves a list of available package versions from the package
repository, configured for the current access method, and update
the dpkg database. The package lists are commonly provided by the
repository as files named \fBPackages\fP or \fBPackages.gz\fP.
These files can be generated by repository maintainers, using the
Details of the update action depend on the access method's implementation.
Normally the process is straightforward and requires no user interaction.
View or manage package selections and dependencies.
This is the main function of \fBdselect\fP. In the select screen, the
user can review a list of all available and installed packages. When run
with administrator privileges, it is also possible to interactively
change packages selection state. \fBdselect\fP tracks the implications
of these changes to other depending or conflicting packages.
When a conflict or failed depends is detected, a dependency resolution
subscreen is prompted to the user. In this screen, a list of conflicting
or depending packages is shown, and for each package listed, the reason
for its listing is shown. The user may apply the suggestions proposed
by \fBdselect\fP, override them, or back out all the changes, including
the ones that created the unresolved depends or conflicts.
The use of the interactive package selections management screen is
explained in more detail below.
Installs selected packages.
The configured access method will fetch installable or upgradable packages
from the relevant repositories and install these using \fBdpkg\fP.
Depending on the implementation of the access method, all packages can
be prefetched before installation, or fetched when needed.
Some access methods may also remove packages that were marked for removal.
If an error occurred during install, it is usually advisable to run
install again. In most cases, the problems will disappear or be solved.
If problems persist or the installation performed was incorrect, please
investigate into the causes and circumstances, and file a bug in the
Debian bug tracking system. Instructions on how to do this can be found
at http://bugs.debian.org/ or by reading the documentation
for \fBbug(1)\fP or \fBreportbug(1)\fP, if these are installed.
Details of the install action depend on the access method's implementation.
The user's attention and input may be required during installation,
configuration or removal of packages. This depends on the maintainer
scripts in the package. Some packages make use of the \fBdebconf(8)\fP
library, allowing for more flexible or even automated installation
Configures any previously installed, but not fully configured packages.
Removes or purges installed packages, that are marked for removal.
Exits the program with zero (succesful) errorcode.
.SH Package selections management
the administrator to some of the complexities involved with managing
large sets of packages with many interdependencies. For a user who is
unfamiliar with the concepts and the ways of the debian package management
system, it can be quite overwhelming. Although \fBdselect\fP is aimed
at easing package management and administration, it is only instrumental
in doing so and can not be assumed to be a sufficient substitute for
administrator skill and understanding. The user is required to
be familiar with the concepts underlying the Debian packaging system.
In case of doubt, consult the \fBdpkg(8)\fP manpage and the Debian
Unless \fBdselect\fP is run in expert
or immediate mode, a help screen is first displayed when choosing this
action from the menu. The user is \fIstrongly\fP advised to study all of
the information presented in the online help screens, when one pops up.
The online help screens can at any time be invoked with the \fB'?'\fP key.
.SS Screen layout
The select screen is by default split in a top and a bottom half.
The top half shows a list of packages. A cursor bar can select an
individual package, or a group of packages, if applicable, by selecting
the group header. The bottom half of the screen shows some details
about the package currently selected in the top half of the screen.
The type of detail that is displayed can be varied.
Pressing the \fB'I'\fP key toggles a full-screen display of the packages
list, an enlarged view of the package details, or the equally split screen.
.SS Package details view
The package details view by default shows the extended package description
for the package that is currently selected in the packages status list.
The type of detail can be toggled by pressing the \fB'i'\fP key. This
- the extended description
- the control information for the installed version
- the control information for the available version
In a dependency resolution screen, there is also the possibility of
viewing the specific unresolved depends or conflicts related to the
package and causing it to be listed.
.SS Packages status list
The main select screen displays a list of all packages known to the debian
package management system. This includes packages installed on the system
and packages known from the available packages database.
For every package, the list shows the package's status, priority,
section, installed and available versions, the package name and its
short description, all in one line. By pressing the \fB'V'\fP key,
the display of the installed and available version can be toggled between
on an off. By pressing the \fB'v'\fP key,
the package status display is toggled between verbose and shorthand.
Shorthand display is the default.
The shorthand status indication consists
of four parts: an error flag, which should normally be clear, the
current status, the last selection state and the current selection state.
The first two relate to the actual state of the package, the second pair
are about the selections set by the user.
These are the meanings of the shorthand package status indicator codes:
\fIempty\fP no error
\fBR\fP serious error, needs reinstallation;
\fIempty\fP not installed;
\fB*\fP fully installed and configured;
\fB-\fP not installed but some config files may remain;
\fBU\fP unpacked but not yet configured;
\fBC\fP half-configured (an error happened);
\fBI\fP half-installed (an error happened).
Current and requested selections:
\fB*\fP marked for installation or upgrade;
\fB-\fP marked for removal, configuration files remain;
\fB=\fP on hold: package will not be processed at all;
\fB_\fP marked for purge, also remove configuration;
\fBn\fP package is new and has yet to be marked.
.SS Cursor and screen movement
The package selection list and the dependency conflict
resolution screens can be navigated using motion
commands mapped to the following keys:
\fBp, Up, k\fP move cursor bar up
\fBn, Down, j\fP move cursor bar down
\fBP, Pgup, Backspace\fP scroll list 1 page up
\fBN, Pgdn, Space\fP scroll list 1 page down
\fB^p\fP scroll list 1 line up
\fB^n\fP scroll list 1 line down
\fBt, Home\fP jump to top of list
\fBe, End\fP jump to end of list
\fBu\fP scroll info 1 page up
\fBd\fP scroll info 1 page down
\fB^u\fP scroll info 1 line up
\fB^d\fP scroll info 1 line down
\fBB, Left-arrow\fP pan display 1/3 screen left
\fBF, Right-arrow\fP pan display 1/3 screen right
\fB^b\fP pan display 1 character left
\fB^f\fP pan display 1 character right
.SS Searching and sorting
The list of packages can be searched by package name. This
is done by pressing \fB'/'\fP, and typing a simple search
string. The string is interpreted literally and should not contain
metacharacters, like those used in ergular expressions or file globs.
Repeated searching is accomplished by repeatedly pressing
the \fB'n'\fP or \fB'\\'\fP keys, until the wanted package is found.
If the search reaches the bottom of the list, it wraps to the top
and continues searching from there.
The list sort order can be varied by pressing
the \fB'o'\fP and \fB'O'\fP keys repeatedly.
The following nine sort orderings can be selected:
alphabet available status
priority+section available+priority status+priority
section+priority available+section status+section
Where not listed above explicitly, alphabetic order is used as
the final subordering sort key.
.SS Altering selections
The requested selection state of individual packages may be
altered with the following commands:
\fB+, Insert\fP install or upgrade
\fB=, H\fP hold in present state and version
\fB:, G\fP unhold: upgrade or leave uninstalled
\fB-, Delete\fP remove, but leave configuration
\fB_\fP remove & purge configuration
When the change request results in one or more unsatisfied depends
or conflicts, \fBdselect\fP prompts the user with a dependency resolution
screen. This will be further explained below.
It is also possible to apply these commands to groups of package
selections, by pointing the cursor bar onto a group header. The
exact grouping of packages is dependent on the current list ordering
Proper care should be taken when altering large groups of selections,
because this can instantaneously create large numbers of unresolved
depends or conflicts, all of which will be listed in one dependency
resolution screen, making them very hard to handle. In practice,
only hold and unhold operations are useful when applied to groups.
.SS Resolving depends and conflicts
When the change request results in one or more unsatisfied depends
or conflicts, \fBdselect\fP prompts the user with a dependency resolution
screen. First however, an informative help screen is displayed.
The top half of this screen lists all the packages that will have
unresolved depends or conflicts, as a result of the requested change,
and all the packages whose installation can resolve any of these
depends or whose removal can resolve any of the conflicts.
The bottom half defaults to show the depends or conflicts that
cause the currently selected package to be listed.
When the sublist of packages is displayed initially, \fBdselect\fP
may have already set the requested selection status of some of the
listed packages, in order to resolve the depends of conflicts that
caused the dependency resolution screen to be displayed. Usually,
it is best to follow up the suggestions made by \fBdselect\fP.
The listed packages' selection state may be reverted to the original
settings, as they were before the unresolved depends or conflicts
were created, by pressing the \fB'R'\fP key. By pressing the \fB'D'\fP
key, the automatic suggestions are reset, but the change that caused
the dependency resolution screen to be prompted is kept as requested.
Finally, by pressing \fB'U'\fP, the selections are again set to the
automatic suggestion values.
.SS Establishing the requested selections
By pressing \fBenter\fP, the currently displayed set of selections
is accepted. If \fBdselect\fP detects no unresolved depends as a result
of the requested selections, the new selections will be set. When
If there are however any unresolveded depends, \fBdselect\fP will again
prompt the user with a dependency resolution screen.
To alter a set of selections that creates unresolved depends or
conflicts and forcing \fBdselect\fP to accept it, press the \fB'Q'\fP
key. This sets the selections as specified by the user,
unconditionally. Generally, don't do this unless you've read
the fine print.
The opposite effect, to back out any selections change requests and
go back to the previous list of selections, is attained by pressing
the \fB'X'\fP or \fBescape\fP keys. By repeatedly pressing these
keys, any possibly detrimental changes to the requested package
selections can be backed out completely to the last established
package selection interface is confusing to some new users.
Reportedly, it even makes seasoned kernel developers cry.
doesn't handle Recommends: field very well, and doesn't understand
Replaces: at all.
The documentation is lacking.
There is no help option in the main menu.
The visible list of available packages cannot be reduced.
The color scheme cannot be changed.
The built in access methods can no longer stand up to current quality
standards. Use the access method provided by apt, it is not only not
broken, it is also much more flexible than the built in access methods.
.SH SEE ALSO
.BR dpkg (8),
.BR apt-get (8),
.BR sources.list (5),
.BR deb (5),
the Debian policy manual.
was written by Ian Jackson (email@example.com). Full list of
contributors may be found in `dselect --license'.
This manual page was written by Juho Vuori <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Josip Rodin and Joost kooij.
Received: (at 103839-close) by bugs.debian.org; 30 Jun 2002 18:36:41 +0000
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From: Wichert Akkerman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
X-Katie: $Revision: 1.17 $
Subject: Bug#103839: fixed in dpkg 1.10
Sender: Ryan Murray <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 14:20:35 -0400
We believe that the bug you reported is fixed in the latest version of
dpkg, which is due to be installed in the Debian FTP archive:
A summary of the changes between this version and the previous one is
Thank you for reporting the bug, which will now be closed. If you
have further comments please address them to firstname.lastname@example.org,
and the maintainer will reopen the bug report if appropriate.
Debian distribution maintenance software
Wichert Akkerman <email@example.com> (supplier of updated dpkg package)
(This message was generated automatically at their request; if you
believe that there is a problem with it please contact the archive
administrators by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org)
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 21:53:15 +0200
Binary: dpkg-static dselect dpkg-dev dpkg-doc dpkg
Architecture: source all i386
Maintainer: Dpkg Development <email@example.com>
Changed-By: Wichert Akkerman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
dpkg - Package maintenance system for Debian
dpkg-dev - Package building tools for Debian
dpkg-doc - Dpkg Internals Documentation
dselect - a user tool to manage Debian packages
Closes: 2531 11228 34942 45787 58091 58653 66735 67174 72634 75947 76100 81009 83139 92650 93386 97239 98275 102367 103667 103839 103845 103994 104214 104230 104232 104561 105750 108887 109282 111503 112378 113120 114249 115783 117968 118420 119532 120924 121309 121489 122132 126340 127458 130130 130509 131439 131496 131758 132476 132632 132714 132901 133035 136349 138013 139159 140441 141906 143117 144121 146855 147872 147924
dpkg (1.10) unstable; urgency=low
* dpkg now reorders symlinks when extracting debs. However, this is also
still done when building debs. After a stable release of Debian has
occurred with this modified dpkg, the reordering when building can be
* Fixed upper/lowercase problems with package names. Closes: Bug#58091
(and 3 others).
* Add Russian manual pages
* Fix n in dselect package list (performs searchagain now)
* Fix layout problem in dpkg-divert manpage. Closes: Bug#103667
* When a package is set to hold, and a reinstallation is requested,
-E will not properly skip it. Closes: #45787.
* Make dpkg-checkbuilddeps use dpkg-architecture. Closes: Bug#104230
* Improve dpkg-archtecture documentation. Closes: Bug#104232
* Update German translation. Closes: Bug#97239
* Update Polish translation. Closes: Bug#115783
* Update French translation.
* Update Brazilian translation.
* Update Danish translation.
* Update Galician translation.
* Update Portuguese translations.
* Add Catalan translation
* Add German md5sum manpage
* Add Brazilian update-alternatives manpage. Closes: Bug#122132
* Improve dselect manpage. Closes: Bug#103839
* dpkg-name(1) no longer mentions the non-existing dpkg(5) manpage.
* Improve handling of Recommends and Suggests in dselect. Closes: Bug#34942
* Add per-user configuration files. Closes: Bug#103845
* Split dselect into its own package. dpkg Pre-Depends on it
to make sure no weird things happen during an upgrade but this
will allow us to make dselect option at some point in the future.
* Make colours in dselect user-configurable. Closes: Bug#103994
* Make Q do an abort in the method selection menu to make things more
consistent with the package list
* Fix test for nice(2) failure in start-stop-daemon. Closes: Bug#104561
* Improve the dselect helpscreen a bit. Closes: Bug#72634
* New version comparison routine that can handle arbitrarily large numbers
and accepts `~' as a low-sorting character. Closes: Bug#93386
* dselect now accepts regular expressions when searching for packages
and can search in package descriptions as well.
* Move query commands into a seperate dpkg-query command. For the old options
(-L,-l,-s,-S) dpkg will still call it for you.
* Add configurable package listing support to dpkg-query
* Handle window resize in dselect main menu. Closes: Bug#98275
* update-rc.d moved to the sysvinit package. Closes: Bug#108887,#109282
* Add --showformat and --show options to dpkg-deb and dpkg-query to
allow one to customize the output format
* several install-info cleanups:
* Move /usr/info/dir to /usr/share/info/dir. Closes: #67174.
* If /usr/share/info doesn't exist, print a message saying so,
instead of the confusing "couldn't lock" error. Closes: #2531.
* If /usr/share/info/dir doesn't exist, or is empty, try to copy the
backup from /var/backups/infodir.bak. Closes: #121309.
* Add a --remove-exactly option, and allow for relative filenames.
* Use the section from the .info file if --section is not given.
* Error messages now include the filename being processed.
* /usr/share/info/dir now has it's entries formatted to even widths.
* --calign|--align|--maxwidth are now ignored.
* strip enoent as well. Closes: Bug#112378
* Fix format error in Dutch translation. Closes: Bug#113120
* When parsing stdin, md5sum now displays '-' as the filename, to match
textutils md5sum. Closes: #121489.
* Apply patch from bug, to give update-alternatives a --list command.
* Make dpkg-checkbuilddeps always check for build-essential.
* Use space seperated output instead of comma seperated in
* Update default ignore expression in dpkg-source to also match *~ and
*.swp in subdirs. Closes: Bug#127458
* Handle errors when verifying md5sums. Closes: Bug#102367
* dpkg-source now uses reliable timestamps for changed files.
* Fix typo in start-stop-daemon help message. Closes: Bug#131439
* update-alternative exits with a non-zero exit code when displaying
a non-existing alternative. Closes: Bug#131496
* Use gzip -c in install-info. Closes: Bug#131758
* start-stop-daemon works on HP-UX now. Closes: Bug#130130
* Fix dselect spin when run without input. Closes: Bug#132476
* Update-alternatives now correctly restores an alternative to auto mode
when removing a manually selected alternative. Closes: Bug#132632
* Copy bugs and origin information into status file. Closes: Bug#132714
* Improve wording of update-alternatives --config text. Closes: Bug#133035
* Add manpages for dpkg.cfg and dselect.cfg. Closes: Bug#132901
* Improve test for illegal packagename for dpkg-gencontrol -p option
* Fix segfault when getenv("PATH") returns null. Closes: Bug#136349
* Add Large File Summit extensions. Closes: Bug#130509
* Fix typo in dpkg-source manpage. Closes: Bug#141906
* Re-fix handling of multiple blank lines in control. Closes: Bug#143117
* Document --force-confmiss and --force-bad-verify. Closes: Bug#146855
* Drop upgrade compat stuff in dpkg postinst for ancient versions (over
5 years old)
* Always set CLOEXEC on the lock fd. Closes: Bug#147872
* Clean up tmp files when ctrl-c is sent to dpkg-source. Closes:
* dpkg-source no longer requires exact case matches for fields in
debian/control. Closes: Bug#139159.
* dpkg-scanpackages now gives proper case for Source and Installed-Size.
* dpkg-architecture: s/build on/built on/; same for 'build for'.
* cl-debian.pl now recognizes emergency as valid in changelogs.
* Properly count recursive expansion of variables, instead of just
counting all variable expansions. Closes: #144121.
* Add -I<filename> to dpkg-buildpackage and dpkg-source, to excludes
files from tar, when building a native package. Closes: Bug#75947.
* Close the old debian/files file, before doing a rename. Closes:
* Fix documentation of -v<version> for dpkg-parsechangelog, removing the
requirement that the version has to be in the changelog. Closes:
* Fix typo in dpkg-source(1), s/-su/-sU/. Closes: Bug#126340.
* Add dpkg-scansources to dpkg-scanpackages(8). Closes: Bug#147924.
* Change /usr/info into a symlink to /usr/share/info if possible
df7d1380dde0d2b980421489e3ae8ea6 1354 base required dpkg_1.10.dsc
dce6fc650eb8343b03acacfac722b094 1623580 base required dpkg_1.10.tar.gz
cd1dbe55ff166971d591c9404e6905f6 1166408 base required dpkg_1.10_i386.deb
5c8a6950c9708044fe4d527e58b4ba18 80244 base required dselect_1.10_i386.deb
c8dab8d95d390d0d485e00db3c846c0f 1155281 byhand - dpkg-1.10_i386.nondebbin.tar.gz
f78567b6a153a00b24551fb1d9d24b9e 1321299 byhand - dpkg-1.10_i386-static.nondebbin.tar.gz
46e139f4860f978c4d9c9d0aee43f426 111386 utils standard dpkg-dev_1.10_all.deb
0fcdf112e49159b1128054603a895cd9 10718 doc optional dpkg-doc_1.10_all.deb
dce6fc650eb8343b03acacfac722b094 1623580 byhand - dpkg-1.10.tar.gz
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