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Re: Broken Woody

On Sat, Oct 04, 2003 at 05:11:04PM -0400, Jack Dodds wrote:
> Help!  I had a working install of Woody on my P4.
> Then (probably showing my ignorance) I tried to install a recent version 
> of Abiword by adding a line specifying /unstable/main to my 
> /etc/apt/sources.list, and (from a characer mode screen) doing an
> apt-get install abiword.
> This resulted in the upgrading of many packges, and a pile of cryptic 
> errors.  In an attempt to fix these I did an
> apt-get -f install
> which produced many illegal instruction messages. I did what I thought 
> was a clean shutdown.  The next time I rebooted, hda3 (my root 
> filesystem) failed its boot-time check and was fixed up.
> Giving up, I restored /etc/apt/sources.list to its original contents 
> (which specifies only stable versions). Then I did an
> apt-get upgrade

By doing this you probably did a partial distribution upgrade to
Debian unstable and changed some basic packages like libc6. If you
want upgrade to unstable, you should do a "apt-get dist-upgrade". To
test the effects of this before doing the dist-upgrade, run "apt-get
--simulate dist-upgrade". 

If all you want to do is install a newer version of a package than
exists in the Debian release, you should try to install a backport of
the package. One place to look for these is http://www.apt-get.org/.

> This got me back more or less to where I started, I think, but now when 
> the system boots, xdm will not run.

I don't use xdm, but look for a xdm-errors or your .xsession-errors
file to get more info on what the problem. 

You may not be back at your starting woody distribution. 
"cat /etc/debian_version" to see what your distribution is reported as.

If you want to try to undo the upgrade, I think you will need to
create a /etc/apt/preferences that contains:

Package: *
Pin: release a=stable
Pin-Priority: 1001

see "man apt_preferences" for more details.

> Also, the "sleep" command produces an "illegal instruction" message.  It 
> is used in various scripts, and so on boot up, tty1 is flooded with 
> these illegal instructions messages so that I can't log in there.  I can 
> do an Alt <F2>, log in, and everything looks normal except that xdm 
> won't run.
> Now, I could just go back and reload Woody from scratch (if I were 
> having trouble with Windows, that's what the tech support would 
> undoubtedly recommend!)  Is there a better way?
> Also, was it wrong to add the unstable/main line to sources.list?  The 
> man page for apt-get seems to show that you can request a package from a 
> different release (e.g. unstable) - is this just a theoretical 
> possibility or does it really work?

Yes, but if you don't want to upgrade your distribution to unstable,
you should probably set pin-priorities or run apt-get with options -u
or -s. 


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