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Re: dselect doesn't work on 8Meg machine anymore?

markm@student.unsw.edu.au [markm@student.unsw.edu.au] wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 13, 2000 at 05:21:03PM +0930, Mark Phillips wrote:
> > My brother is trying to upgrade debian from slink to potato on his
> > 8Meg RAM machine.  He has about 20Meg swap as well.  Dselect is very
> > very slow --- lots of swapping.  And try to install stuff, and it
> > bombs out with not enough memory!
> Hi Mark,
> I have a similar machine and guessed that this would be a problem. 
> Although I am going to leave mine with slink, I briefly toyed with 
> the following idea:
> The problem is the huge package lists that are used for the dependency
> checkings. Obviously, with these lowend machines, you probably won't
> be installing all the gnome libs and a lot of other stuff. So why not
> remove anything that depends on say xlib, or has doc in it ... from
> the package lists? Hopefully, you may be able to chop out 50% or so
> from the total number of packages. This should at least speed things up
> considerably.

Yes, that is obviously the problem.  It seems a potentially hazardous
solution however.  It will be good if Debian eventually comes out with
"virtual" distributions, ie a partial listing of packages, tailored to
certain needs.  I did hear rumours of this kind of idea being
implemented, but I don't know if anything's been done about it.

In the meantime, we're going to create some extra swap space, and wait
forever for it to install everything.



> Unfortunately before I got around to making a full blown filter that
> would be able to chop based on selectable criteria, I
> decided I wanted to use the machine as an X terminal, so I didn't
> continue and am staying slink (X -query works amazingly well).
> The attached script is embryo form only - knocks out dependers on 
> xlib. The second thing to do would be perhaps to clean the cruft out
> of the status file. 
> To use the script:
> 1. Remove X if installed.
> 2. apt-get update
> 3. cat /var/state/apt/lists/xx_Packages | chunder.pl > Packages.short
> 4. dpkg --update-avail Packages.short
> 5. copy Packages.short back to /var/state/apt/lists/xx_Packages
> 6. apt-cache gencaches
> 7. apt-get dist-upgrade
> Disclaimers: 1. of course you will end up with a scrogged system, that
> is the whole point 2. it is a while since i used this (and _only_ on
> slink so pls read the man pages - my memory may have slipped up)
> 3. backup, only try if you know what you are doing, not my fault etc. 
> HTH,
> mark.

        "They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them!" 

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