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Old 08-07-2020, 08:13 AM   #1
LinWinux
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SERIOUS PROBLEM !!! With Antix and / or MX Package Manager !!!


I consider this thread to be really important because of the following hidden problem. It's not anything that requires an individual user resolution, but rather some action by the developers of Antix and/or MX linux distribution.

A few day ago I installed an MX 19 snapshot which was created from an updated/upgraded MX 18 system. It was created from an older generic Asus laptop with 4 GB of RAM and a 7200 rpm 500 GB SATA drive. Older 1,83 ghz. intel CPU with intel HD grahics. I do believe that the hardware used is irrelevant though. Newly refurbished hard disk with no other operating system. Clean installation ...

The installed snapshot which installed without a problem, had a few packages that I wanted to remove as there were similar other duplicates installed as well. Utilizing MX Tools, followed by going to the MX Package Manager, from where I opened the second Tab at the top for stable repository, I searched for some applications and began removing these one by one. Right now I don't remember specifically which app generated the problem, but the ones which I uninstalled were:

shutter
swell-foop
gthumb
simple-scan
supertuxkart
cheese
kshisen
kpat

There were some other apps which were removed as well, but I'm pretty certain that the problem began with one of the above during removal. As you already know, when you first initiate a removal, you'll receive a summary message in the window telling you the app about to be removed and the amount of free space this will result in. Usually that's anywhere from less than 1 MB up to 200+ MB for some of the more massive applications.

Anyway, for the removal of one of the programs the message for disk space to be freed resulted in 670 MB or thereabout. My first thought was, "Wow, that's an awful lot of space for such a small programm" ... followed by thinking "What the heck, what do I know about additional packages that are tied to this one, let's just do it and see what happens"

Well, by the time that the 3rd or 4th line ticked by, I noticed things being removed that I knew for a fact had nothing to do with that particular application. Instead of panicking and since this was a fairly new build anyway, I decided to keep on watching, to see what else would get removed.

Most of the XFCE files remained untouched, but a huge portion, I'd say about 50 to 65 percent of all of the MX Tools packages were removed, including of course the initial app which I wanted to remove in the first place and which had absolutely nothing to do with anything MX-Tools related. So somewhere for whatever reason, there's a serious problem with the Package Manager or rather, the removal of apps by means of the Package Manager.

On a side note: I also noticed that anytime that Ksnip or Swell-Foop is open on another one of my machines, some applications are no longer accessible. The system itself is fine, but some applications simply do not respond at all when clicking on them. But as soon as I close either of those two when I'm done, everything else goes back to normal. It's not a big deal, just a weird glitch of sorts that I thought I'd mention since both of those apps were also used in the described issue above.
 
Old 08-07-2020, 01:15 PM   #2
hazel
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I suspect that you have fallen victim to a well-known feature of the Debian package management system. Certain packages in Debian-based systems like MX are actually empty but have a lot of dependencies. The empty package is simply a convenient way to install a lot of programs (which are not directly dependent on each other) together. Desktops like xfce are a classic example. They come with a set of applications which are treated as dependencies of the empty desktop package.

Now what happens if you decide to remove one of these applications? The desktop package is dependent on its apps so it gets removed too, because its dependencies are no longer satisfied. The other applications that came with the desktop are then automatically removed because they came over as dependencies of the desktop and are now treated as orphans. One of my AntiX-using friends lost the whole of X that way!

But you should have been given a list of the packages that were to be removed, not just the space that would be cleared. Certainly synaptic would have given you that list.
 
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:43 PM   #3
remmilou
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Quote:
A few day ago I installed an MX 19 snapshot which was created from an updated/upgraded MX 18 system.
Could this be the origin of the weird behavior?
It is stated not to upgrade MX18 to MX19, but to do a fresh install.
Anyone any thoughts about this?

I always wondered the reason for not doing the upgrade. Personally I'm still running (as a second / test system) an MX18, "Upgraded" to SID an changed MX repos to Buster. No problems so far..., but OK, I do not use it heavily...
 
Old 08-08-2020, 04:17 AM   #4
LinWinux
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Thanks for the replies, hazel & remmilou.

Yeah, I was wondering that myself, if it could have something to do with the manual upgrade as opposed to a clean installation of Linux from scratch?

Well, there's no point in creating a snapshot feature to reinstall the existing setup, if you then have to do a manual clean install every 12 months or so anyway. To me, that totally defeats the purpose of creating a personal snapshot which I think a person should be able to use for 3 or or more years, while also being able to enjoy any and all available upgrades.

I was NOT using Synaptic though. I've never ever encountered problems with Synaptic during the past 5+ years. I was using the MX Tools Package Manager which has several tabbed options, one of these being the stable repository ... presumably the stable Debian repository. Even if the MX Tools Package Manager uses or runs through the same repository as Synaptic (does it?), that still doesn't change the fact that in order to work within the MX Tools environment, some tweaking or altering had to take place by the MX Linux developers. The reason why I chose the MX Tools Package Manager for that snapshot is because it's less tempting to remove several things at once, allowing greater focus on what the user is doing per app. Since I was working on a new snapshot with the potential for redistribution, that was important to me.

Personally for myself I prefer to use Synaptic. I have noticed though that the applications within Synaptic when compared to the application that are available within the MX Tools Package Manager, there are some differences and the availability of packages is not identical between the two package managers.
 
Old 08-08-2020, 04:22 AM   #5
anticapitalista
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inxi -r to see your list of repos.

Plus MX warn against upgrading MX18 to MX19

BTW - What has this to do with antiX?

Last edited by anticapitalista; 08-08-2020 at 04:25 AM.
 
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Old 08-08-2020, 04:42 AM   #6
LinWinux
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@anticapitalista ...

It would not hurt to fully read the title and post before responding.

The title clearly states and OR ...

And since Antix as well as MX Linux are always mentioned together in this forum do to the (I assume) collaboration between the developers of both of these distributions, there's no way for me to know if what I had to say only applied to just one and not the other of these distributions. Only one of the actual developers would be able to know that, right?
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Old 08-08-2020, 09:37 AM   #7
fatmac
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Quote:
Anyway, for the removal of one of the programs the message for disk space to be freed resulted in 670 MB or thereabout. My first thought was, "Wow, that's an awful lot of space for such a small programm" ... followed by thinking "What the heck, what do I know about additional packages that are tied to this one, let's just do it and see what happens"
Should have checked out why first, some programs are installed as part of a package of programs, so, if you uninstall any part of it, all of it gets removed - things like KDE used to do this, likely XFCE would do the same, & is one of the reasons I use a WM not a DE.

AntiX & MX Linux share developers & ideas, but are really quite different distros, so no, not the same at all.

P.S. All Debian users where warned that it would be a bad idea to upgrade from an old installation to Buster, because so much had changed, it was recommended that a fresh install was the way to go.

Last edited by fatmac; 08-08-2020 at 09:40 AM.
 
Old 08-08-2020, 09:51 AM   #8
hazel
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The problem lies with the tool used. The reasonable way for a package manager to deal with this kind of situation is to list the packages that will be removed automatically as a consequence of removing a specific package. This acts as a red flag for the user, who can easily abort the operation. Synaptic does this and I think apt and apt-get do so too. This MX Tool does not, and that was what caused the problem. It's badly designed software imho and the OP is quite right to be annoyed about it.
 
Old 08-08-2020, 10:24 AM   #9
LinWinux
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Thank you, hazel.
Well, I was less annoyed and actually more concerned.
I wrote this post to make others aware of the fact that by using the MX Package Manager, there might be the possibility of a built-in problem. The tab which says ... Stable Repository ... makes it misleading for people who are unfamiliar with MX Linux. Then they'd be off just as good or perhaps better with Synaptic, against which I always advise.

Granted, perhaps it's because of the distribution upgrade due to not having a fresh install, or perhaps it has something to do with the prior snapshot function itself which I do not believe, but as I was watching what was happening on the screen, it looked to me like a minor, non-system-relevant app like Swell-Foop, Simplescan, etc. was simply tied to something (accidentally) that it had no business being tied to in the first place. IMO none of the below listed applications should have caused what happened to happen. None of them are "system relevant" enough. And I'll repeat what I said before, there's IMHO no reason to have a snapshot tool ... if that tool can't be utilized across updates and version upgrades as well. That's what makes the snapshot tool so awesome & interesting to some of us, the fact that it can indeed be used over and over and over again.

Alright, that's it for me. I'm slowly but surely melting away here at 82.4 degrees inside our house. Have a great weekend everyone. I have to go and grab me a cold one.

Last edited by LinWinux; 08-08-2020 at 10:26 AM.
 
Old 08-08-2020, 01:46 PM   #10
anticapitalista
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You haven't sent your inxi -r nor have you replied to the point that MX clearly advises users NOT to upgrade from MX18 to MX19.
This has nothing to do with MX Package Installer.
 
Old 08-08-2020, 01:48 PM   #11
anticapitalista
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
The problem lies with the tool used. The reasonable way for a package manager to deal with this kind of situation is to list the packages that will be removed automatically as a consequence of removing a specific package. This acts as a red flag for the user, who can easily abort the operation. Synaptic does this and I think apt and apt-get do so too. This MX Tool does not, and that was what caused the problem. It's badly designed software imho and the OP is quite right to be annoyed about it.
Actually MX Package Manager does do this via the pop-up terminal.
The O/P didn't read the output.

Last edited by anticapitalista; 08-08-2020 at 01:51 PM.
 
Old 08-08-2020, 01:53 PM   #12
anticapitalista
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LinWinux View Post
@anticapitalista ...

It would not hurt to fully read the title and post before responding.

The title clearly states and OR ...

And since Antix as well as MX Linux are always mentioned together in this forum do to the (I assume) collaboration between the developers of both of these distributions, there's no way for me to know if what I had to say only applied to just one and not the other of these distributions. Only one of the actual developers would be able to know that, right?
So are you using antiX and its package manager? No you are not.
Title should read (with all the drama and 6!!!!!! exclamation marks): SERIOUS PROBLEM !!! With MX Package Manager !!!
 
Old 08-08-2020, 04:14 PM   #13
remmilou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LinWinux View Post
Thanks for the replies, hazel & remmilou.

Yeah, I was wondering that myself, if it could have something to do with the manual upgrade as opposed to a clean installation of Linux from scratch?
As said, I'm far from sure. It's very hard to diagnose a broken system.

Quote:
Well, there's no point in creating a snapshot feature to reinstall the existing setup, if you then have to do a manual clean install every 12 months or so anyway. To me, that totally defeats the purpose of creating a personal snapshot which I think a person should be able to use for 3 or or more years, while also being able to enjoy any and all available upgrades.
I do think there is a point in that. In the first place, you do not need a snapshot for upgrades. MX is one of the few distro's that supports snapshots (at least this convenient). There was a possibility for Ubuntu long ago. In the second place, a very good use case for snapshots is rolling out a nicely tuned system to a new/other pc. It can also act as form of a backup.
 
Old 08-09-2020, 02:27 AM   #14
LinWinux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anticapitalista View Post
So are you using antiX and its package manager? No you are not.
Title should read (with all the drama and 6!!!!!! exclamation marks): SERIOUS PROBLEM !!! With MX Package Manager !!!
Why don't you learn to back off or learn to *READ* text in its entirety ???
I already explained ... *TWICE* ... why Antix was included in the title description.
I'm sorry that you disagree, but please back off because it is not going to change anything, since as a user and not a developer there is no way for me to fully understand how and why Antix / MX are related to each other. So to be safe, both were mentioned in the post. You're not helping with your distractions and counter-productive remarks. I know who you are Anticapitalista and I understand why you feel as you do, but using proper English language and having explained everything in proper context to the best of my abilities where all that was said can be understood, is perfectly alright with this particular post.
You'll be okay, yes you will ...
 
Old 08-09-2020, 02:39 AM   #15
LinWinux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remmilou View Post
As said, I'm far from sure. It's very hard to diagnose a broken system.


I do think there is a point in that. In the first place, you do not need a snapshot for upgrades. MX is one of the few distro's that supports snapshots (at least this convenient). There was a possibility for Ubuntu long ago. In the second place, a very good use case for snapshots is rolling out a nicely tuned system to a new/other pc. It can also act as form of a backup.
... which once again just goes to further that particular point.
If I create a snapshot as a backup on a system which remains pretty much unchanged, then end up having an inexplicable disastrous problem overnight a year or so later, I would hope to be able to install that same snapshot, followed by then upgrading manually, without destroying my freshly installed snapshot/system in the process. I think we're all starting to drift away from the initial posting. I was only trying to point out that by using the stable repository of the package manager, there might be a hidden problem that could severely impact the installed system by actually destroying it. I believe that the mentioned issue has to do with the distro included Package Manager, but not with Synaptic.

Instead of griping about the fact that Anticapitalista's precious Antix was also mentioned in the title, it would be a much better idea for him, since he's also part of the MX group, to let MX developers know about this post so they can have a look at it. Griping doesn't resolve anything. Perhaps other MX developers might actually be able to find a way to improve things by having this post pointed out to them. I can't do that ... but Anticapitalista can.
 
  


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