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Old 11-30-2003, 11:47 AM   #1
pwaring
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Getting apt-get to work properly


I've just installed Debian over the internet using a Woody 3.0r1 CD to start the process and then downloading all the appropriate packages using the installation program. However, a lot of the packages are significantly out of date (KDE is at version 2.2.2), so I tried running the following commands to force it into 2003:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

However, the command prompt was return to me almost immediately and said that there were no new packages available. This is obviously incorrect because I know that KDE is at version 3 at least at the moment, and other packages such as apache need updating too.

I really want to use Debian as my Linux distro, partially because of apt-get making it easier to keep everything up to date.

Does anyone have any idea why I can't update my system using apt-get and if there is a solution to this problem? I don't want to have to go back to using RedHat as my main distro.
 
Old 11-30-2003, 12:44 PM   #2
thcmwz
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I had the same thing happen to me. I just installed Debian this weekend and discovered that the stable version of Debian has hardly any valuable packages. No MPlayer, firebird... etc. You have to convert from a stable distibution of Debian (woody) to a testing version (sarge). I did it in about 1 hr... haven't run into any problems. If you want KDE 3... it might be in unstable but I would stick to testing from what I have read. http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...hreadid=121057
 
Old 11-30-2003, 01:48 PM   #3
pwaring
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First of, thanks for the reply/information.

Debian choked on my monitor and/or graphics card and refused to even let me log in as root, then insisted on checking one of my partitions on every boot. So I can't upgrade to a testing distro even if I wanted to.

Besides, I want to stick with the stable branch because I'm planning on running servers on my machine so I don't want any unstable/testing software. However, I hardly consider KDE 3 'testing' or 'unstable'.

At the moment, Debian loses out big time in the ease of installation stakes. I mean, if a computer science student can't install it on reasonably new hardware, what chance has someone reasonably new to computers got? It would also help if Debian's most touted featured actually *worked* properly.

I don't have the time to waste messing around because Debian doesn't like my hardware or can't be bothered to update my packages properly. Sure, it might be okay if you've got the time and patience to play around with it, but I don't. RedHat 9 will have to do until I find another distro that works properly.
 
Old 11-30-2003, 03:30 PM   #4
thcmwz
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I agree... Debian was really hard to install. It took me two full days. The best part about debian is that once you get it setup it is easy to maintain because of its package manager. However, I would not reccomend Red Hat because they will be discont. support in December.
 
Old 11-30-2003, 05:59 PM   #5
rehab junkie
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It took a few weeks to get my head around the Debian installation system, but once I became comfortable with it, it became very easy!


Will be interesting to see what the new installer looks like.
 
Old 12-01-2003, 07:07 AM   #6
llamakc
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1. Read the documentation in /usr/share/doc
2. You probably did NOT use the bf24 option when doing the install, and do not have ext3 partitions. Let the file system check run. This doesn't stop you from using the machine. THEN convert the partitions to ext3:

Boot into runlevel 1 (single-user)

tune2fs -j /dev/hdaX where X is the partition to convert. Then edit /etc/fstab and change ext2 to ext3 for said partitions.

Had you used the bf24 option, you could have chosen ext3 during installation.

3. apt-get is working perfectly based on your description. apt-get upgrade actually upgrades packages to their current version based on the flavor you are running (this is not accounting for pinning or backports...) SO if you want kde3, check out http://www.backports.org and http://www.apt-get.org for an appropriate sources.list line.

Yep, /etc/apt/sources.list is where you add/remove repositories. You would add a new deb line, THEN run apt-get update, then apt-get install kde or whatever. By changing "stable" in sources.list to "testing" or "unstable" you THEN would do an entire system upgrade by apt-get dist-upgrade.

apt-get dist-upgrade is akin to shelling out the money for Redhat or SuSe. And it does work, very well.

Perhaps you should use SuSe. You're the first computer science student I've ever heard say they don't have time to tinker with an O/S.

Lastly, I really wouldn't run a hog like KDE or GNOME on a server. Use something lite if you MUST use X at all (I recommend openbox2).

Good luck.
 
Old 12-02-2003, 05:48 AM   #7
yowi
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The debian installer is a bit raw.
That being said I have yet to reinstall any of the half a dozen boxes I have setup Debian on in the last couple of years. Once you get it running upgrades are as smooth as is feasible and systems that were installed at potato are now on sarge, no problems.
I suspect this is why it has taken them so long to update the installer.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 04:59 PM   #8
pwaring
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Quote:
Originally posted by llamakc
2. You probably did NOT use the bf24 option when doing the install, and do not have ext3 partitions. Let the file system check run. This doesn't stop you from using the machine. THEN convert the partitions to ext3:
There was no bf24 option as far as I could see, I don't think ext3 was in use when I bought the CDs (some time ago).

Quote:
Perhaps you should use SuSe. You're the first computer science student I've ever heard say they don't have time to tinker with an O/S.
I don't have time to tinker with an OS when I want a server up and running quickly. RedHat worked, and cost exactly the same as Debian (actually less, considering that I paid for the Debian CDs whereas the RH9 ones were "free" since I downloaded them).

I'd like to run Debian, but I do not have time to mess around and see my server go down unexpectedly. If I was well off enough to have another PC, then I'd use Debian as a test machine whilst RH9 carried to work smoothly. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of an extra machine, so what I do have has to work all the time.

As for SUSE, I've used it in the past and it's performed reasonably, but I would rather run a distro that I can schedule to update automatically with a couple of commands, to keep up to date with security patches (especially since I'll often be miles away from the server).

Quote:
Lastly, I really wouldn't run a hog like KDE or GNOME on a server. Use something lite if you MUST use X at all (I recommend openbox2).
The server wouldn't be working that hard, so KDE would be fine. Besides, it'd only be running a GUI when I'm actually working on it (i.e. installing packages, changing configurations etc.), so it wouldn't hog that much memory. Oh, and KDE looks nice.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 05:11 PM   #9
llamakc
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Then good luck. Even if ext3 filesystems weren't available when you installed (which would have been pre-Woody) you can convert the filesystem very, very easily. The Net is littered with documentation on how to do that:

tune2fs -j /dev/hda1

will create a journal for /dev/hda1. Then you edit /etc/fstab and change /dev/hda1 from ext2 to ext3

I'm not trying to be combative or nasty. If you want to run Redhat, do so. It installs way too many packages. A minimal Debian install is under 400MB.

YAST2 has the functionality you want.

I don't understand why you need a GUI to configure options that will reside in files. You are going to start X to open an x-terminal to su to root to edit files? OK. But that's beside the point: Cruft is cruft and I'd avoid it.

HOWEVER, if you are saying this is some box that's gonna be dual-use: run a mail server and web server and be your desktop box at school, then I understand. I'd just choose a WM with less overhead.

To be honest, converting the filesystems will take you 5 minutes. That's not much tinkering away from whatever time is spent with JAVA or ASP or "create this program for credits" class you have. It's really easy and you'll be pleased with the effect on subsequent boots/crashes (if they happen).

And again, if you are typing

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

w/o editing the /etc/apt/sources.list you will NOT get different versions of software. SO everything being uptodate means that APT is working. You perhaps want to run Stable and STILL have newer versions of different packages?

See my sig. And good luck. I think once you round the curve you'll be happy.
 
Old 12-06-2003, 01:09 PM   #10
pwaring
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Quote:
Originally posted by llamakc

I'm not trying to be combative or nasty. If you want to run Redhat, do so. It installs way too many packages. A minimal Debian install is under 400MB.
Not if you opt to individual select packages. A RedHat install can be small if you want to customise it. Besides, there's very little point in having a 400mb install if it doesn't work.

Quote:
I don't understand why you need a GUI to configure options that will reside in files. You are going to start X to open an x-terminal to su to root to edit files? OK. But that's beside the point: Cruft is cruft and I'd avoid it.
Because I like to use a graphical editor for config files (in particular, Kate). It's hardly cruft - okay it takes up disk space but I've got plenty of that and for the usability it provides it's not worth arguing over whether to use it or not. If I was running a server for a major company that ran their web site, FTP and SSH say, then I probably wouldn't install X, but I want a server that's reasonably easy to use.

Quote:
HOWEVER, if you are saying this is some box that's gonna be dual-use: run a mail server and web server and be your desktop box at school, then I understand. I'd just choose a WM with less overhead.

To be honest, converting the filesystems will take you 5 minutes. That's not much tinkering away from whatever time is spent with JAVA or ASP or "create this program for credits" class you have. It's really easy and you'll be pleased with the effect on subsequent boots/crashes (if they happen).
I can't see that converting the file systems will magically make X work, seeing as Debian doesn't seem to like my monitor and won't let me login as root (or any user for that matter). Anyway, if I can't actually get into the console I can't execute the commands to convert the filesystems, so it's a bit of a moot point

Also, why do you assume that I'm at a school in America (based on your 'desktop box at school' and 'this program for credits class' comments)? As it happens, I'm at a UK university taking a degree in CS, which is why I made the point about Debian being far too difficult to get working (and, as it happens, there was another occassion recently when we were trying to get Debian running on a machine for use on a student radio station, and it wouldn't even get past the network installation stage). If someone doing a degree in computer science with a fair bit of experience in Linux (given that I'm one of maybe 30 people out of the year who don't come from a Windows-exclusive background) can't get it to work, what chance does anyone else have? Admittedly Debian isn't really a beginner's distro, but the whole reason for me choosing it was its package system, which doesn't even work easily and so defeats the object of using it in the first place.

Quote:
w/o editing the /etc/apt/sources.list you will NOT get different versions of software. SO everything being uptodate means that APT is working. You perhaps want to run Stable and STILL have newer versions of different packages?
I want a stable kernel (i.e. the latest 2.4 stable branch) with the most up-to-date stable packages. E.g. if I say apt-get apache, I expect the latest version of the 1.3.x series. I honestly don't care what Debian calls them, I just want a working distro with the latest STABLE software packages - this is after all a server so I don't want any beta/alpha/unstable programs running if at all possible.
 
Old 12-06-2003, 01:24 PM   #11
llamakc
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I wasn't suggesting that having ext3 filesystems would make X work. I was saying that ext3 filesystems would stop the fsck from running at boot.

OK, back to square one. Did you run the bad-blocks check when formatting the disk?

If you are comfortable with X on a server, and you enjoy using Kate, then that's cool. I was stating my opinion and I grant you yours.

So the problem is a) the machine won't finish booting, correct?

APT is the easiest package management system I've ever used, minus OS X's Software Update. There are stable packages of newer versioned software that have been backported to Woody. The URL is in my signature.

THIS would allow you to have a newer version of KDE/GNOME with those tools while still running Stable.

As for the kernel, I suggest compiling your own to fine-grain tune precisely what you want. Once you give it a few tries, you'll be an old pro at it.

What doesn't work on apt for you? From your original post you state that you wanted to bring the packages up to more current versions. On Stable, with the Debian apt/sources.list lines, those are the up-to-date versions. Here's where you would really enjoy backports.org and apt-get.org.

Mind posting your XF86Config-4, your brand/model of monitor, and the output of `lspci -v`?

I'm sure we can get you up and running. And my apologies for being a pr1ck above. I'd rather see Debian be set up for you than sling useless insults and underhanded comments.

Good Luck!

Last edited by llamakc; 12-06-2003 at 04:31 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 11:28 AM   #12
pwaring
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I didn't run the bad blocks check because it would have taken too long (I'm in the middle of trying Debian again, except this time it has seriously messed up because I'm doing a bad blocks check on a 30Gb disk and it's taking forever). However, I'm pretty sure that the disks were in good condition and that fsck wanted to run because I hadn't shut down correctly or something.

My monitor is an ADI ProVista, no idea of the model number unfortunately (my PC was built as a birthday present I think, so I don't have all the technical manuals, much to my dismay). I've got a GeForce 2 graphics card with 32mb of RAM (think it's a GeForce 2 anyway, I know it's a GeForce with 32mb/RAM but I'm not sure what model - it's about 18 months old IIRC).

As for my config files, well I obviously lost them when I installed RH9, but I couldn't login to get at them anyway.

Anyway, I probably won't have time to work on the install until next weekend because I'm busy all the time during the week (uni isn't quite the doss people make it out to be!) so I'll have to leave it until then unless the installer finishes before this evening.

Quote:
I'm sure we can get you up and running. And my apologies for being a pr1ck above. I'd rather see Debian be set up for you than sling useless insults and underhanded comments.
Apology accepted but not really necessarily. I guess I'm half-way between the desktop user and sysadmin, and I don't think I'm using Debian for quite the purpose it's intended for. I might try Gentoo if debian doesn't work again this time though.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 11:55 AM   #13
shadowhunter
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hmm, wouldnt do that. gentoo was kinda cool, but the source thing really sucks. This is the reason why I am thinking of debian right now.

off-topic:
is unstable really unstable?
 
Old 12-07-2003, 12:47 PM   #14
pwaring
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Quote:
Originally posted by shadowhunter
off-topic:
is unstable really unstable?
I don't think it is completely unstable, but it's labelled as such so you can't complain if anything goes wrong whilst using that section of the distro.
 
Old 12-07-2003, 03:02 PM   #15
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I wouldn't call the unstalbe branch of debian unstable at all; for example, the unstable branch includes XF86 4.2.1 (or thereabouts). RH9 includes XF86 3.

As pwaring said, the unstable branch is (as far as i've tested so far) stable.
 
  


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