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dselect/apt boot install

Please don't get too pissed about this post; can't seem to find any user
space debian NGs with any traffic...

I run slink and a 2.132 kernel and am totally comfortable with
linux/debian i.e. none of the following was a crisis at any time:

Stupidly I ripped out ncurses because I couldn't do `make menuconfig` on
the kernel and I knew my ncurses libs were the cause of it. Well, this
really put my system in a bad state <laugh>...libnurses has got to exist.
I boot a rescue disk and (in retrospect, stupidly) and did a base install
(from *bin diskimages on my root partition) over my current slink install
just to get ncurses back in. 

I used apt-get to upgrade my system back to slink and it seemed to have a
good idea about what had been downgraded and currently installed.  But not
dselect...it had lost all track of what's installed.  Probably wrote over
the "installed" database, eh?

The thing is, is that apt had no trouble identifying the changes that I
made with that base-install and upgrading just what was necassary - but
dselect still really doesn't have it right.  Without too much trouble, I
got everything squared away (manually) - but, again - dselect still
doesn't have it right.

1) How do I rebuild dselects stuff so that it knows what's REALLY
   installed.  (parse the /var/lib/dpkg/info/* files or something?)
2) Alternately - how can I sync apt and dselects "installed" databases?

What I see:

1) apt-get CAN detect changes to the installed package base made by a
   previous run of dselect.
2) dselect CANNOT detect changes made to the installed package base made
   by a previous run of apt-get from the commandline.

3) You can sync  dselect/apt-get with 'apt-get dselect-upgrade'. but if
   dselect is out of sync with what's installed, you must reinstall a huge
   amount of software that's already installed.  This doesn't fix anything
   - only makes the two progs agree as to what is installed.

4) Need a way to do the reverse i.e. get dselect to recognize what's been
   done from an 'apt-get dist-upgrade' or something.  Or just a way to get
   dselect to just accept apts idea of what's installed on the system.

5) If there are ways (I'm sure there are) to rebuild the installed package
   base please point me at the correct documentation to read.

Sorry for the long off-topic spew..


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