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Some notes on Debian experiences

I have been running a debian system for over a year, and have come to
depend upon it.  The newer (1.2?) version is working fine, and
upgrades are in general _much_ less painful than upgrading to elf from
a.out.  But there are still rough spots, notwithstanding the
significant debt I owe to the developers for enabling the system upon
which I have come to rely extremely heavily for all work.  

The upgrade to the newer libc5 packages was anticipated with some
trepidation.  In general it went ok, but once again, all the trouble
that has been gone to to set up the package format and tools still has
not make it any easier to upgrade by FTP: several packages required
other packages to be upgraded, and as usual, it was trial and error.
I think it is in hand, however.  As before, I have had to deal
privately with debian's header file system, as it does not conform to
what the linux kernel is doing.  

I deleted the aout libraries.  So far so good.  I searched the bin
directories for aout executables, and found none that I could not do
without.  So looks ok.  But I still don't know if it is safe to delete
the X11R6 aout libraries.  I could use the space.  I hope to upgrade
to X11 3.2 soon, but fear and trepidation will held me back awhile.

I wanted to compile a new kernel.  Remembering that Debian has a
screwy header file setup, I had to relink as described in the
/usr/src/linux/README.  I think that went ok.  I was able to compile
2.1.14.  I had to upgrade to a number of packages in "bo".   And I
compiled PCMCIA myself.  

During the process of upgrading, I inadvertently deleted the entire
/usr/info directory.  My own fault, as I freely and readily accept.
However, I was not ready for what happened next: when I upgraded gcc
and cpp (as I found I must when I installed gcc and it would not
configure), neither package would configure, with a dire error
message.  But the only problem was that the postinstall script could
not find /usr/info/dir.   I thought it nice to be rid of the directory
for the time, as I needed the space to compile the kernel, but the
Debian package tools would not configure these packages unless they
were able to run install-info.  I saw no way around this, no force
option.  Something of a ridiculous reason not to be able to configure
an important package, since I delete the gcc and cpp info files

I still am not sure where the dir file comes from.  Dpkg doesn't know
about any /usr/info/dir file.  I stumbled across cleanup-info, and ran
it,  but the resulting dir file is not adequate to run info or emacs
info.  I get the message that no top node can be found.

The system is working ok.  Thanks to all developers.  

Alan Davis

 Alan Eugene Davis    Marianas High School      15o 8.8'N       GMT+10        
 adavis@saipan.com    AAA 196 Box 10,001        145o 42.5'E             
		      Saipan, MP  96950                        
                      Northern Mariana Islands       
"An inviscid theory of flow renders the screw useless, but the need
for one nonexistent."            ------ Lord Raleigh

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