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Re: How do I tell apt that X is installed (from tar dist)

On 19 Dec 2002, 12:52:18, Tony Crawford wrote:
> I have a woody notebook and put XFree86 4.2.0 on it from the 
> tarballs (because of better hdw support than in X v3). Now I 
> want to try out some window managers, but apt-get wants to 
> install xfree86-common every time I ask it for an X app.  


I'm not an expert, but I think you went about this in a "non-Debian" way,
when a suitable Debain way exists.

Since X 4.2 is part of the testing distribution, I believe that the right
thing to do would have been to put the following in /etc/apt/apt.conf:

APT::Default-Release "stable";

and add lines to /etc/apt/sources.list that point to testing, as well as
to stable, like this:

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ stable main non-free contrib
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ stable main non-free contrib

# entry for testing distribution for installing from testing
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main non-free contrib
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main non-free contrib

and then run:

apt-get update

and then install X 4.2 via

apt-get -t testing install xserver-xfree86

That would install the 4.2 version of X from the testing distribution.

> - What packages do I need to mark as "hold" (or better?) to save 
> the XFree86 v4 installation from getting damaged?

I don't know.  I do know, although I've never used it, that there is a way
to make a .deb out of a tarball install, and then use dpkg -i tarballpackage.deb
to install it, so that it's in the dpkg/dselect/apt database and they won't
try and crush it with later installs of other packages.

>  - Where would I have looked to find this out myself if I were a 
> smarter user?   

The apt HowTo, the Debian Reference, and lurking on this list . . .

> - What's the best way to mark those packages so that I can 
> continue life with apt-get?  

I would go ahead and, if possible, uninstall your self-install of X, or barring
that, just go ahead and do an apt-get install xserver-xfree86.  Actually,
you might want to use tasksel for this, so that you get all the fonts and
other things that go along with it, but aren't actual dependencies, and then
install X from testing.


> All kinds of anticipatory gratitude,
> Tony

Doug MacFarlane

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