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Re: sarge->etch upgrade hits dependency hell

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hendrik@topoi.pooq.com wrote:
> After failing to reconstitute my etch system (details abundantly 
> available on this mailing list a few months ago), I wiped its partition 
> and tried to install etch form scratch using installer release candidate 
> one, only to find that lilo crashed when it was trying to make the 
> system bootable (installation report has been submitted).
> So my next attempt was to copy the still-running sarge system I have on 
> another partition into my etch partition, and to try to upgrade the copy 
> to etch by changing /etc/apt/sources to read 'etch' where the old one 
> reads 'sarge', starting aptitude, and upgrading.
> My first attempt was to try to upgrade aptitude first.  No luck.  
> Trying to upgrading aptitude immediately led to hundreds of packages 
> that would be deleted.  My guess is they were caught in the libc 
> transition.
> My second attampt was to try 'U' so as to do a general upgrade.  Again, 
> huge numbers of deleted packages, and a huge number of packages to be 
> installed, too.  Went ahead with it anyway, after rescuing aptitude 
> itself -- it had decided it was appropriate to delete aptitude without 
> installing it again.  But just typing '+' on aptitude was enough to 
> restore it without problem, so I don't know why it decided it was to be 
> removed in the first place.
> After about three to four hours of downloading, it started the upgrades.  
> Several problems immediately.  It couldn't upgrade fontconfig or pysol, 
> and refused to try further.  pysol needed python2.4, don't know why it 
> decided to do that first.  fontconfig is now unusable, which causes 
> troubles elsewhere.
> After various attempts to solve the problems, I am left with a huge 
> number of packages to be deleted/upgraded/installed, and X that won't 
> work, and a list of 18 packages that have problems.
> Should I try again tomorrow in the hope that package dependencies will 
> sort themselves out?  Or should I just give up and try another way of 
> installing tomorrow?  Can't think of one now, but one will probably come 
> to me it I think hard enough.
> -- hendrik
Sound like what I have seen "as usual" while doing dist upgrades (Debian
and Ubuntu). Several apt-get {update|upgrade|dist-upgrade|-f install}
cycles often are needed. Some packages almost always get "stuck", i.e.
cannot be upgraded or prevent other packages to be upgraded. For those I
do apt-get remove and then install.

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