[Aptitude-devel] Bug#642030: aptitude: cannot forbid more than 1 version of a package

Vincent Lefevre vincent at vinc17.net
Fri Nov 13 11:31:46 UTC 2015

On 2015-11-13 10:59:01 +0000, Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo wrote:
> 2015-11-13 2:10 GMT+00:00 Vincent Lefevre <vincent at vinc17.net>:
> > On 2015-11-12 21:57:33 +0000, Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo wrote:
> >> In your example above, using hold also would not install v2 from
> >> testing, and when v4 appears, you notice and unhold, and all is well.
> >> What's the drawback of using Hold in your use-case?
> >
> > No, when a package is on hold, aptitude does not give any notice
> > when a new version arrives. That's why I don't like it.
> So when you put packages on hold in testing, say "v1", and "v2"
> appears in unstable or testing, the packages don't appear in the bunch
> of "Upgradable" when there are newer versions?

They still appear on hold, and I cannot know whether there is a new
version or not.

> > To know whether I am satisfied with some version, I need to know
> > whether there is a new version. Otherwise the package remains on
> > hold forever.
> Apart from appearing in "Upgradable", one can limit the view to
> "~U~ahold" (which is like upgradable but further limiting to only
> packages on hold; if the list of Upgradable is too long to check all),
> or one can check every now and then if the packages on hold have new
> versions in their package info screen

But how can I know whether the version is new?

I have never seen the equivalent of New/Unread markers used for e-mail.

> (hopefully you don't have dozens of packages forbidden/hold).

Well, with all the packages forbidden/hold on my 4 Debian machines,
I do. :)

> If one feels that Hold is too heavy handed and that forbidding a
> versions is a hassle because other versions appear all the time, one
> can simply not upgrade the package until it's good to upgrade.

For such packages with often new versions, this is where Hold can be
used. The issue is for packages without often new versions, but with
at least two candidates for an upgrade.

> Forbidding versions will cause the same or equivalent sets of
> problems, in the packages themselves and their reverse-depends.  In
> fact, installing packages (without holding or forbidding at all) from
> experimental or from backports can also make you miss security fixes
> as well.

I use neither experimental[*] nor backports. I don't use unofficial
repositories like Debian multimedia either.

[*] Well, only in some exceptional cases to test bug fixes, but then
I track what happens.

Vincent Lefèvre <vincent at vinc17.net> - Web: <https://www.vinc17.net/>
100% accessible validated (X)HTML - Blog: <https://www.vinc17.net/blog/>
Work: CR INRIA - computer arithmetic / AriC project (LIP, ENS-Lyon)

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