[Aptitude-devel] sigh, bad old upgrade behavior?

Miles Bader miles at gnu.org
Tue Feb 9 00:16:06 UTC 2010

For a while it seemed like aptitude was finally a version that
would calm all the complaints people have about aptitude wildly deleting
half their system.

But... lately it seems like _every time_ there's some conflict,
aptitude's first (and thus default, if you don't explicitly try to find
another) solution is to delete a bunch of packages, rather than holding
back one or two from being upgraded.

Part of the problem, of course, is the fact that aptitude's interactive
behavior (at least, the conflict resolution that happens when you hit
"g" in the interactive session), for whatever reason, apparently
corresponds to "aptitude dist-upgrade" from the command-line, rather
than "aptitude upgrade".  This seems vaguely bizarre to me (isn't
dist-upgrade'ing an extremely rare occurance?), but maybe there are
historical reasons, I dunno.

Anyway, here's a command-line demonstration of a typical occurance.
Note that I usually use the full-screen mode, and just hit "u", "U",
"g"; the behavior  below matches what I saw in that mode though:

   $ LANG=C sudo aptitude dist-upgrade
   Reading package lists... Done
   Building dependency tree       
   Reading state information... Done
   Reading extended state information... Done
   Initializing package states... Done       
   The following packages will be upgraded:
     hdparm libenchant1c2a libgeoip1 unzip xulrunner-1.9.1{b} zip 
   The following packages are RECOMMENDED but will NOT be installed:
   6 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
   Need to get 9250kB of archives. After unpacking 229kB will be freed.
   The following packages have unmet dependencies:
     xulrunner-1.9.1: Conflicts: xulrunner-1.9.1-gnome-support but is installed.
   The following actions will resolve these dependencies:

        Remove the following packages:             
   1)     iceweasel-gnome-support                  
   2)     xulrunner-1.9.1-gnome-support            

        Tier: Safe actions, Remove packages (10000)

   Accept this solution? [Y/n/q/?] n
   The following actions will resolve these dependencies:

        Keep the following packages at their current version:
   1)     xulrunner-1.9.1 [ (testing, now)]         

        Tier: Safe actions, Remove packages (10000)          

   Accept this solution? [Y/n/q/?] q

So, what's up with this...?

Note that the above example, while demonstrative, is certainly not the
worst that's happened recently; sometimes it recommends (i.e., defaults)
deleting a bunch of fairly important packages because some random
i-don't-care-package has a conflict.



Electricity, n. The cause of all natural phenomena not known to be caused by
something else.

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