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How To Downgrade XFree86 From 4.2.1 to 4.1.0 ?

Hi Folks

Because of the trouble I had trying to upgrade my Woody KDE 3.1.4 to the 
Woody 3.2.2 debs at download.k.o :
and the comments from others (thanks Nate) that it's probably due to my 
use of backported XFree86 4.2.1, I've been trying to figure out how to 
downgrade my Xfree86 from the www.backports.org version 4.2.1 that I 
currently have to the vanilla 4.1.0-16 that normally comes with Woody.

But the commands I've tried either want to remove way too much of my  
system, or they only allow me to replace individual packages :

1) asking apt-get to install the older xfree86-common causes it to want 
to remove everything that depends on X, plus a few non-X packages you 
wouldn't think were dependent (analog ? dsniff ? nethack ?) :

   [NB: identical result with aptitude ..]

glimmer:# apt-get -s install xfree86-common/stable
Reading Package Lists...
Building Dependency Tree...
Selected version 4.1.0-16woody3 (Debian-Security:3.0/stable) for 
The following extra packages will be installed:
  fontconfig libartsc0 libartsc0-dev libfontconfig1 libfreetype6
  libfreetype6-dev xfree86-common
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  aalib1 abiword abiword-common abiword-gtk abiword-plugins analog ark
  armagetron arts artsbuilder bluefish bonobo dsniff frozen-bubble
  frozen-bubble-lib gconf gdk-imlib1 gdm gimp1.2 glutg3 gnome-applets 
  gnome-card-games gnome-control-center gnome-core gnome-gnomine 
  gnome-libs-data gnome-panel gnome-panel-data gnome-session 
  gnome-utils gs gs-common gsfonts-x11 guarddog gv icewm iconx 
  imlib1 kaboodle kaddressbook kandy kappfinder karbon kasteroids kate
  kaudiocreator kbackgammon kbear kcd kchart kcontrol kde-theme-liquid
  kdeartwork-style kdebase kdebase-bin kdebase-dev kdebase-kio-plugins
  kdelibs-bin kdelibs4 kdelibs4-dev kdemultimedia 
  kdemultimedia-kio-plugins kdepim-libs kdeprint kdesktop kdevelop
  kdevelop-data kdf kdm kfind kformula kgamma kget kgpg kgpgcertmanager
  khelpcenter kicker kit kivio klipper kmahjongg kmail kmenuedit kmid 
  kmix kmyfirewall knode knotes koffice koffice-libs konqueror
  konqueror-nsplugins konsole kontour kopete koshell koules kpackage 
  kpersonalizer kppp kpresenter krec ksame kscd kscreensaver ksmserver 
  kspread ksysguard ksysv ktip kugar kwin kword kxconfig lbreakout2 
  libarts1 libarts1-audiofile libarts1-dev libarts1-mpeglib 
  libcapplet0 libgal-data libgal19 libgconf11 libgd1 
  libgdk-pixbuf2 libgimp1.2 libglade-gnome0 libglade0 libglide3
  libgnome-vfs-common libgnome-vfs0 libgnome32 libgnomeprint-bin
  libgnomeprint-data libgnomeprint15 libgnomesupport0 libgnomeui32 
  libgtk1.2 libgtkhtml20 libgtkxmhtml1 libkdegames1 libkdenetwork2 
  libmagick5 libmng-dev libqt2 libqt3-mt libqt3-mt-dev libqutil1
  libsdl-image1.2 libsdl-mixer1.2 libsdl-perl libsdl-ttf1.2 
  libsdl1.2debian-all libsmpeg0 libungif4g libwmf0.2-2 libxaw6 libxaw7 
  lincity-x mirrormagic mozilla-browser mozilla-psm mpeglib 
  nethack nethack-common nethack-x11 noatun nowebm proxymngr 
  quanta rep-gtk rep-gtk-gnome sane sawfish-gnome snowflake synaesthesia 
  timidity tk8.3 tuxracer twm usbview x-ttcidfont-conf x-window-system
  x-window-system-core xaos xaw3dg xbase-clients xcruise xdm xfireworks
  xfishtank xfonts-100dpi xfonts-75dpi xfonts-abi xfonts-base 
  xfonts-scalable xfwp xgalaga xhangglider xlibmesa-dev xlibmesa-gl-dev
  xlibmesa-glu-dev xlibmesa3 xlibmesa3-gl xlibs xlibs-dev xlibs-pic xmms 
  xpdf xpdf-reader xscavenger xscreensaver xscreensaver-gl 
  xserver-common xserver-xfree86 xterm xtris xutils
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  fontconfig libfontconfig1
The following packages will be DOWNGRADED
4 packages upgraded, 2 newly installed, 1 downgraded, 239 to remove and 
23  not upgraded.

2) dpkg looks promising but will only replace one package at a time

glimmer:# dpkg --no-act -i 
dpkg - warning: downgrading xfree86-common from 4.2.1-15.backports.org.1 
to 4.1.0-16woody1.
(Reading database ... 68117 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to replace xfree86-common 4.2.1-15.backports.org.1 (using 
.../xfree86-common_4.1.0-16woody1_all.deb) ...

Presumably I'd have to repeat this for each of the 34 XFree86 4.2.1 
packages I have installed ...

Googling for advice on downgrading has not produced an answer.  I found 
these official docs :
which only have this to say :

    "Downgrading from a later release of a package 
    to an earlier one is not officially supported in Debian"

And, coincidentally, this comment in a current Slashdot debate on the 
move to X.org by various free Un*xen :

    "it's virtually impossible to remove XFree packages 
    from a Debian installation and not remove every 
    other program that uses X on the system"

Some postings suggest using pinning to achieve a downgrade, but this 
would appear to require pinning 34 individual packages by name in this 
case ...

Does anyone have a nice/best way of doing this X downgrade ?

Would performing 34 individual dpkg's be likely to produce a working 
system afterwards ?

I'm starting to think I may have to blow away every vestige of XFree, 
KDE, and all other X apps, and then reinstall .... ouch :-(

PS: it turns out I'm not the only one with the KDE 3.1.4-to-3.2.2 
upgrade problem - two other people have mailed me off list to say they 
have the same problem.

Nick Boyce
Bristol, UK

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