Joey Hess wrote:
(This question is appropriate for the debian-user mailing list, redirecting.) Dan Jacobson wrote:there seems no mechanism at present to warn the user that he shouldn't install it, even if he has done apt-get update from the mirrors. In bug 202919 you will see I was just lucky something stopped installation. I guess I'm hoping for a warning that a package is 'out of fashion' when I try to apt-get install it.The problem is that you are using a demonstration frontend for the aptlibrary, instead of a real package manager.aptitude or even dselect will display packages that are not in the archive as "obsolete" or "local", making it easy to tell when you have something outdated.
If you are installing something that isn't already installed, then you must be getting it from somewhere, hence it must be in the archive somewhere. OP's problem was that he had some old [sid] CDs. I can't think of a straight forward way that any package manager can figure out that you would rather not install packages that are in one of your sources listed in sources.list[and both aptitude and apt-get do tell you where they are getting a package from in the download phase[ie the fact that he had to insert the CDs to install the packages is a warning]]. While I am going to rebut some of these points, I should point out that aptitude is my preferred package manager.
------------------------------------------------------------------------ Seven reasons why you should be using aptitude instead of apt-get. 1. aptitude can look just like apt-get If you run 'aptitude update' or 'aptitude upgrade' or 'aptitude install', it looks and works just like apt-get, with a few enhancements. So there is no learning curve.
aptitude doesn't support the '-t' switch. While some people would say that you shouldn't really be using '-t' anyway, a lot of people do use it.
2. aptitude sanely handles recommends A long-standing failure of apt-get has been its lack of support for the Recommends relationship. Which is a problem because many packages in Debian rely on Recommends to pull in software that the average user generally uses with the package. This is a not uncommon cause of trouble, even though apt-get recently became able to at least mention recommended packages, it's easy to miss its warnings. Aptitude supports Recommends by default, and can be confgigured to support Suggests too. It even supports installing recommended packages when used in command-line mode.
This can also tend to pull in a lot of packages that you don't really want if you aren't dilligent, though this can of course be disabled fairly easily or worked around.
3. aptitude tracks automatically installed packages Stop worrying about pruning unused libraries and support packages from your system. If you use aptitude to install everything, it will keep track of what packages are pulled in by dependencies alone, and remove those packages when they are no longer needed.
undeniable advantage, things like deborphan are just hacks compared to aptitude.
4. use aptitude as a normal user and avoid hosing your system Maybe you didn't know that you can run aptitude in gui mode as a regular user. Make any changes you'd like to try out. If you get into a real mess, you can hit 'q' and exit, your changes will not be saved. (aptitude also lets you use ctrl-u to undo changes). Since it's running as a normal user, you cannot hose your system until you tell aptitude to do something, at which point it will prompt you for your root password.
I've gotten burned once or twice by aptitude reverting my changes when I become root[it isn't totally reproducible]. Also, apt-get can be used to try things out as a normal user if you add '-o Debug::noLocking=on' to the command.
5. aptitude has a powerful UI and searching capabilities Between aptitude's categorical browser and its great support for mutt-style filtering and searching of packages by name, description, maintainer, dependencies, etc, you should be able to find packages faster than ever before using aptitude.
maybe I am just not familiar with aptitude enough, but I find searching for packages with grep-dctrl easier[or even apt-cache]
6. aptitude makes it easy to keep track of obsolete software If Debian stops distributing a package, apt will leave it on your system indefinitly, with no warnings, and no upgrades. Aptitude lists such packages in its "Obsolete and Locally Created Packages" section, so you can be informed of the problem and do something about it.
This is really just a corollary to 3. It isn't a problem if directly installed packages become obsolete; if you use a program there is no point removing it.
7. aptitude has an interface to the Debian task system Aptitude lets you use Debian's task system as it was designed to be used. You can browse the available tasks, select a task for install, and then dig into it and de-select parts of the task that you don't want. apt-get has no support for tasks, and aptitude is better even than special purpose tools like tasksel.
another advantage, though I don't use tasks much.
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