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Re: aptitude synaptic gnome to be removed?

%% Bill Wohler <wohler@newt.com> writes:

  bw> Jules Dubois <0v63ukx02@sneakemail.com> writes:

  >> 'apt-get upgrade' is restricted (and therefore safer) in that:
  >>   under no circumstances are currently installed packages removed, or
  >>   packages not already installed retrieved and installed.
  >> This isn't sufficient for 'unstable', as both of the package-state changes
  >> above are required regularly.

  bw> RTFM (release notes, actually) tells me that I should use
  bw> dist-upgrade when switching distros, but RTFM (that I could find)
  bw> does not tell me when to use dist-upgrade when not switching
  bw> distros.

I think Jules' message above is pretty clear and straightforward.  I
suppose some of the ramifications of this choice might not be
immediately clear though.

  bw> How does one know when to use dist-upgrade? Is there an
  bw> announcement email somewhere? Does aptitude give some sort of a
  bw> sign (that I'm missing)? Is this something that you just run
  bw> regularly?

Erm.  No, don't think of "dist-upgrade" as a command you ONLY use to
upgrade to a new version of Debian.  Perhaps part of the confusion is a
naming issue.

The dist-upgrade command can (and maybe should) be run regularly, even
if you don't change versions.

Whether or not you run dist-upgrade vs. upgrade is something only you
can decide.  There are pros and cons to both, and you just have to know
which you want to use depending on what you want to do.

As Jules says, "upgrade" will NEVER remove any packages, and it will
NEVER install any new packages that aren't already installed.  If a
package can't be upgraded without doing one of those two things, then it
won't be upgraded.  For example, if you have foobar-1.0 on your system,
and foobar-2.0 requires a new library libbaz to be installed that you
currently don't have installed, then "upgrade" will not update package
foobar to the new version.  It'll leave it alone.

Dist-upgrade, on the other hand, will sometimes remove packages and
install new packages, if necessary, to make your system as up-to-date as
possible.  In the example above, "dist-upgrade" would install the new
package libbaz and then update foobar to version 2.0.

_Usually_ "dist-upgrade" is what you want, especially in unstable
where lots of dependency info, etc. is changing around.  The problem
with dist-upgrade in unstable (or testing) is that SOMETIMES, if the
packages are laid out just right (or wrong), "dist-upgrade" will decide
that in order to bring your system as up-to-date as possible is has to
remove large swaths of packages, because of versioning conflicts.

So, which you use is up to you and depends on your goals, the state of
your system, which repository you're pointing to
(stable/testing/unstable), and the state of the repository.

In general, I do it like this (I use either testing or unstable most of
the time):

    * Run "dist-upgrade".  Check to make sure the resulting changes look
      OK.  If so, accept them.

    * If not, then I do one of:

        (a) "install" a particular package or set of packages that I
            particularly want/need, OR

        (b) Try "upgrade" and see if it does a better job, OR

        (c) Give up and wait a few days for the repository to become

 Paul D. Smith <psmith@nortel.com>           HASMAT--HA Software Mthds & Tools
 "Please remain calm...I may be mad, but I am a professional." --Mad Scientist
   These are my opinions---Nortel Networks takes no responsibility for them.

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