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Re: Best debian 9 repo for sparc64 packages

On 12/29/2017 07:53 PM, Tony Rodriguez wrote:
> For some reason I am unable to install those packages because of
> missing dependencies. Wondering if I am using the best repo for latest packages?

The problem usually is that some packages fail to build from source in their latest
versions and hence they become uninstallable as the packages in question remain in
their old versions while their dependencies get updated.

For example, if Firefox 52 on sparc64 was built against libpng12 but is then replaced
by Firefox 57 which builds against libpng16 and then Firefox 57 does not build on
sparc64 while libpng12 gets replaced by libpng16 in the archives, the latest version
you will have on sparc64 will still be Firefox 52 which requires libpng12 which
doesn't exist anymore as it was automatically removed from the FTP servers when
libpng12 was replaced by libpng16.

This issue only exists in Debian Ports. Debian's release architectures don't have
this issue as the infrastructure there makes sure no packages are deleted if the
removal would make other packages uninstallable. The feature is called "cruft" and
you might have already seen that term in the Debian PTS (package tracking system).

The reason why the cruft feature is missing in Debian Ports is the fact that Ports
uses the Mini Debian Archive Kit (Mini DAK) while the release architectures use
DAK which has more features than Mini DAK.

James Clarke is actually working on migrating Ports from Mini DAK to DAK so we
get the cruft feature as it is also required for the buildd infrastructure to
prevent packages from becoming BD-Uninstallable (i.e. their build dependencies
can no longer be installed), but that migration process requires some modifications
to DAK to adopt it to Debian Ports which isn't a project that can be done over
night as you can imagine.

So, the gist is: It's a currently known and inevitable problem with all Debian
Ports architectures which you currently can only work around by adding Debian
Snapshots (snapshot.debian.org) to your /etc/apt/sources.list to be able to
install the missing dependencies from there but it will be hopefully fixed
in the future making the workaround redundant.


 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - glaubitz@debian.org
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - glaubitz@physik.fu-berlin.de
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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