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Re: The Thrill of Debian Gnu/Linux

On Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 03:34:03PM -0700, John McBride wrote:
> kmself@ix.netcom.com wrote:
> >
> > > You'll ohh and ahhh as apt-get fails on package name lengths that are
> > > too long!
> > 
> > Sorry?  Details?  Never seen this.
> As soon as I got a base system working, I updated my sources.list and
> used "apt-get update". It failed after retreiving the pkg files with an
> E: message that some package names were too long. Presumably, my 2.1
> slink CD has a version of dpkg or something that has some kind of path
> length limitation. Sorry I didn't note the files causing it. I think
> maybe I should have upgraded to the lastest slink before going to woody,
> since the CD I'm using is several months old. But that would have meant
> many megabytes of d/l just to start over again to woody...and I thought
> I could go straight to it. In a couple days, I'm going to try again on
> another box, and I will note the exact message.

IIRC, dpkg has changed somewhat significantly since slink.
Unfortunately, I've only installed Debian four times (two computers
<g>), and don't recall the specifics.  My install order tends to be:

  - base slink system
  - update slink to potato (or frozen)
  - start loading packages

I'd check through the buglists and/or mailing list archives for
appropriate strings.

> > > You'll quiver as apt-get begins returning "E: pre depends" messages!
> > 
> > Sorry?  Details?
> Since dpkg/apt failed due to some file length error, I tried to update
> them by hand (dpkg). I found some kind of circular dependency between
> libc6 and the newer apt/dpkg, so I ended up forcibly installing one of
> them. Finally, I got past the name length error, and apt-get started
> working again, but part of the way through the update it crashed, and
> when I rebooted it started giving some kind of "E: pre depends" message
> when it worked through the dependency list. Several people have posted
> to deja.com about it. The only way I could muddle through was by cycling
> through dpkg and apt commands til it went away. When I do the next
> machine (a couple days) I'll try to take more notes.

I'll occasionally get stuck with a set of apt errors.  You can do an 

   apt-get install --fix-missing

...IIRC, to try to clean up the mess.  The other alternative I've
resorted to (more than once) is to:

  $ su -
  # cd /var/cache/apt/archives
  # for file in *.deb; do dpkg -i $file && rm $file; done

...which installs (or tries) each and every deb file you've downloaded.
Usually some get stuck, but at least the ones that haven't are then
cleared out of your way.  You can run this several times to try to clear
dependencies (the stuff that isn't dependent on something not yet
installed gets installed).  It's really slow, largely because you're
reading through the packages list for *each* package installed.

> I tentatively agree. But my employer (for example) would take RedHat,
> Storm or Corel over a raw debian, simply because their installs are far
> more modern and professional. But for me, I can't stand KDE, and RedHat
> has some oddities that just annoy the heck out of me, like (IMHO)
> extremely poor pre-release testing.

There are a number of reasons why a work site might chose RH.  It's
slightly more popular, though the tech-minded tend to favor Debian IMO.
Installation plays a distant second to maintenance IMO.

> Actually, I strongly prefer startx, but don't see how to disable gdm
> without breaking helix-gnome -- it seems to require gdm. You can't
> simply edit /etc/inittab like you can on RedHat. apt-get remove gdm
> pulls helix-gnome off the system. I'll review those files.

Debain (rightly, IMO) puts display managers under /etc/init.d and the
appropriate rc?.d directories:

   # /etc/init.d/gdm stop

...should get you what you want.  For more permanent breakage, remove
the offending rc?.d/S##gdm file.

You can also edit IIRC the /etc/X11/*/Xservers file to include or
exclude the local display.

> Ha, I left one out -- if you have a DRDOS partition, cfdisk and lilo
> conspire to mangle it. Doesn't happen under RedHat.

I prefer manual fdisk myself.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>         http://www.netcom.com/~kmself
  Evangelist, Opensales, Inc.                       http://www.opensales.org
   What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?      Debian GNU/Linux rocks!
     http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/      K5: http://www.kuro5hin.org
GPG fingerprint: F932 8B25 5FDD 2528 D595  DC61 3847 889F 55F2 B9B0

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