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Re: aptitude - finding broken packages

On Tue, Oct 28, 2003 at 03:38:41PM +0100, Richard Lyons said
> On Tuesday 28 October 2003 14:18, JG wrote:
> > > Is there a quicker way of locating the broken packages
> [...]
> > /~b
> >
> > will bring you to the next broken package.
> >
> > l~b
> >
> > will narrow the packages list to only those that are broken.
> [...]
> Thanks.  I really haven't got used to this apt system yet.  The two broken 
> ones today are Mozilla, which I use, so I suppose I just wait until that is 
> not broken before doing anything.  Trying to hold the existing mozilla is 
> apparently not an option, and removing the new one from the list seems to 
> break something else and leave me with no mozilla.  Not that I really know 
> what I'm doing.

Try going into the "expanded" details thingy for mozilla with <enter>
and go down to the bottom where available versions are listed.  Pick a
non-broken one, and hit "i" (for install) on it, then if aptitude lets
you keep it, "h" to put it on hold.

> I installed from Knoppix2.1 and have now got some sort of hybrid woody/
> testing/unstable, if I understand correctly.  The sources list is huge.  Is 
> there a way of doing a 'what-if' to see what would happen if I settled on 
> unstable throughout - with the option to just go back to where I am now?
> Would that allow me to have a shorter sources list shorter and make updates 
> simpler?  Is is a good idea?  I am scared of tinkering and messing the whole 
> thing up.

Make a backup of your sources.list, and comment out all the non-unstable
ones, then run "apt-get update" (or hit "u" in aptitude).  If you now go
to aptitude's "what I'm about to do"-screen with a single "g", then
aptitude will show you what will happen.  Red means broken, green is
to-be-installed, grey is on-hold, cyan is to-be-upgraded and purple is
to-be-removed.  You can then put things on hold, and decide what to
install/remove fairly easily.

If you decide it was a bad idea, restore your original sources.list and
rerun "apt-get update".

> The knoppix install got me out of a hole, but I know I have a mountain of 
> unneccessary packages installed.  I uninstall the odd one I chance on that I 
> definitely do not need, and the odd one that fails to configure correctly at 
> bootup because it is for nonexistent hardware or whatever.  But I suppose the 
> only way to get a lean system would be start with nothing and install as 
> needed.  Which would cost me time I don't have.

You can certainly strip it down with tools like "deborphan" and
"debfoster".  aptitude is quite good at this, too: if you install
package foo, which depends on bar which you don't have installed, then
aptitude will remember that and purge bar when you remove foo.  Assuming
nothing else Depends on bar.

It all sounds kinda complicated, but if you just use aptitude for
package management, then it all Just Works.

Another tip that works pretty well with unstable is to just check over
the upgraded packages list in aptitude (the cyan ones) before you do
your (daily|weekly|monthly) upgrade and remove stuff you don't use
anymore.  Very little effort, spread over a long time period.

Rob Weir <rweir@ertius.org> | mlspam@ertius.org  |  Do I look like I want a CC?
Words of the day:    TWA eavesdropping Serbian kibo Maple MILSATCOM ANDVT ASDIC

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