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Re: aptitude --mind-your-own-business option?

On Sat, Dec 02, 2006 at 01:39:04 -0900, Ken Irving wrote:
> I've periodically tried using aptitude, but always get scared off
> when it seems to "run away".   I'm sure it knows what's best for my
> machine ;-), but is it possible to override this behavior?
>   $ sudo aptitude install wmmoonclock -s
>   ...
>   The following packages are unused and will be REMOVED:
>     groff imagemagick libconfig-inifiles-perl perlmagick python2.3 python2.3-iconvcodec 
>     rcs texi2html weblint 
>   The following NEW packages will be installed:
>     wmmoonclock 
>   0 packages upgraded, 1 newly installed, 9 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
>   Need to get 0B/158kB of archives. After unpacking 21.2MB will be freed.
>   Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?] 
> The first time I tried this I'm afraid I didn't look "very closely" at the
> REMOVED lines.  Silly of me not to suspect that aptitude would choose
> this time to do a clean-up of some sort, and not just install the simple
> little program I asked it for.
> It's odd that I can use apt-get without any hint of these problems.
> Per another thread, I tried to use the "unmarkauto" command to fix things,
> but apprently the need to clean things up is still there
>   $ sudo aptitude unmarkauto '~M!~R~i' 
>   ...
>   The following packages are unused and will be REMOVED:
>   ...

Running "aptitude keep-all" should make aptitude forget whatever it
wanted to do. (Changing settings or "auto" marks alone does not cancel
intended actions that were based on the prior configuration.)
> I'll probably just go back to using apt-get, and probably everything
> will be fine until the next time I decide to try aptitude.  Is there a
> compelling reason to bother?

I like the "forbid-version" functionality (I run Sid and it is so much
more convenient than having to remember to remove apt pins or dpkg
holds), the interactive interface, the powerful search patterns, the
log, the convenient way to look at changelogs before downloading, and
the fact that I can fine-tune how recommendations are treated for
automatic (un)installing. I also have observed aptitude acting much
smarter in conflict resolution, for example if package "foo" gets split
into "foo" and "foo-data" in an upgrade. With apt-get this often
resulted in a "chicken-and-egg" problem since the new "foo-data" had
overlapping files with the old "foo" package and "foo" could not be
upgraded directly because the new "foo" depended on "foo-data". In such
situations I often had to break the tie manually, for example by
temporarily uninstalling "foo", with "--force" if necessary. Aptitude
solves this type of problem without user intervention by going some
clever two-step route. 

(Disclaimer: I have not used apt-get in a long time; it might have
 learned some new tricks since I switched to aptitude.)


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