[Aptitude-devel] About the status and plans for aptitude

Sven Joachim svenjoac at gmx.de
Tue Nov 29 07:21:18 UTC 2011

On 2011-11-29 01:44 +0100, David Kalnischkies wrote:

> In that vision, the biggest problem for aptitude to face currently are
> problems it has with multiarch. I implemented it in APT in a way i hoped
> it would make it possible to sell multiarch as singlearch to the frontends.
> This (surprisingly) works for a lot of cases, but from the folks from ubuntu
> i heard different stuff about aptitude performance in multiarch environment
> (we don't have it in debian yet, so i rely here on chit-chat - bear with me)
> so i guess certain codepaths depend on singlearch more than others do.

Performance is actually the least of the problems, although there is of
course a penalty with the number of available packages increasing by
~20000 per foreign architecture.  The following issues are much more

- Packages of foreign architectures are always considered "new", making
  the "New Packages" section in the TUI totally useless[1].

- The architecture of packages is not exposed in the UI, leading to
  confusion ("which version of libc6 is it I'm looking at now?").

- If "Multi-Arch:same" packages get out of sync, aptitude finds no
  solution at all in everyday situations like "aptitude safe-upgrade".

- Conflict resolution seems to be entirely broken[2].

If multiarch gets enabled by default on amd64, those problems are
showstoppers, I think.


1. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/aptitude/+bug/886567
2. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/aptitude/+bug/831768

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