[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: how/where to ask questions about dpkg/APT and tools?

Tom Roche (Tom_Roche@pobox.com on 2011-08-15 12:35 -0400):
> My dpkg/APT knowledge/skills need to go from near-beginner to at least
> intermediate-level fairly quickly, but I have lots questions. Where
> to go (e.g., what forums, lists, IRCs, other sites) to ask them?
> Why I ask:
> However I currently
> - have 888 updates (per mu-d)
> - have 69 broken packages (per `aptitude`)
> - need to get some bigger apps/functions running (e.g., chromium,
>   libreoffice, DVD playing)
> - fear breaking big things (e.g., X, GNOME)
Let's skip the mu-d assessment (Mint upgrade-daemon?), and let's focus
on the broken packages. Usually this means either packages that can't
be upgraded because of missing dependencies or package conflicts (not
too bad), or packages that cannot be installed yet somehow are (oops).

First of all: Ubuntu has a tendency to throw everything and the kitchen
sink into a few toplevel packages. Great for avoiding thinking, bad
for fixing broken packages. Create a new file in /etc/apt/apt.conf.d
with the following line:
APT::Install-Recommends "false";
You can remove it later, but for now it might break some dependency
cycles that prevent you from going forward.

Next, a word of caution: there is a very real possibility of breaking
your system here. Be very careful about packages being removed. As a
general rule, apt-get is safer (less ruthless) than aptitude, and the
aptitude command-line interface is safer (more explicit) than its TUI.

Now for some low-level package administration:

Identify the broken packages (can't test -- there's probably a better
command for this):
$ dpkg -la|grep ^iB

Find out what they do:
$ apt-cache show <package>

Find out where they come from, and what versions are available:
$ apt-cache policy <package>

Find out why a package is installed:
$ aptitude why <package>
$ aptitude why <starting-package> <package>

Let apt do the difficult thinking for you:
# apt-get install -f
# aptitude install

Forcefully remove a package (DO NOT USE)
# dpkg --force-all -r <package>

I suggest you also take a look at #debian on irc.debian.org, or a
Mint-specific IRC channel if it's available. You will get a much more
immediate response there.

Good luck!

Reply to: