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Re: I don't understand the new aptitude

On 5/22/07, Dan H <dunno@stoptrick.com> wrote:
I can't get my head around the (as of etch) newfangled aptitude
dependency handling procedure. As an example, I'm trying to install
texlive. As soon as I hit '+', I see this cryptic message in the bottom

[1(1)/...] Suggest 2 installs, 4 keeps
w: examine !: apply ...

(...and I just noticed I had to copy that by hand because aptitude
--and only aptitude!-- seems to disallow copying text from the xterm
it's running in! What kind of sadism is that?)


So how does this work?

I can tell you how I use it:

'e' gets you the list of suggested resolutions, as you've discovered.
If one of them looks reasonable, '!' will choose that one.  Sometimes
that has the effect of just cancelling what you were going to do,
sometimes it removes something, sometimes it installs something.

If none of the options looks right, hit 'q' (which, I believe, is not
listed as an option).  This will return you to the previous view,
where you can fix things by hand.  I've been doing this daily in sid
while I wait for python-matplotlib and python-scipy to be updated for
the latest python-numpy.  The only way to get control back once
aptitude has entered its problem resolution mode is to hit 'e' and
then 'q', at least that I've found.  I then go and hold the problem
packages with ':'.

As an aside, another way you can install texlive is to use aptitude as
a command-line tool:

aptitude install texlive

That might present you with an easier-to-manage dependency resolution.

Michael A. Marsh

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