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Old 06-27-2004, 01:20 AM   #1
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Ohio
Distribution: Debian Unstable
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how to install the "packages that have been held back" when doing "apt-get upgrade&qu

Hi everyone,

I'm using Debian Sarge, and when i do an "apt-get upgrade," i notice an ever-increasing list of packages that are "kept back." What causes these packages to be held back? cross-dependencies maybe? do i want them to be installed? a lot of them appear to be gnome packages. if i wanted to install them, what would be the best way to go about it? i've tried using synaptic to "upgrade" packages individually, but when i do that, it appears that apt wants to remove a lot of gnome packages before proceeding. i use gnome as my desktop environment, so i decided not to do that. thanks for your thoughts.
Old 06-27-2004, 05:27 AM   #2
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There are several reasons why packages are held back. To find out why a package is being held try to select it manually for upgrade and apt will tell you if it clashes with an already installed package or if it needs some packages on the system similar to itself to be removed before an upgrade/installation is possible. With newer versions of apt you can select smart upgrade and fewer packages are held back.
Old 06-27-2004, 11:44 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Ohio
Distribution: Debian Unstable
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thanks redazz,

i went into synaptic and selected the "upgrade system" icon and selected "smart upgrade" when prompted for the methodology to upgrade, and that upgraded all of the "kept back" packages.

how do i do a "smart upgrade" from the shell? i looked through the apt-get man and couldn't find anything about it. and i did a quick google search, but nothing jumped out right away.


Last edited by zero79; 06-27-2004 at 11:57 AM.
Old 06-27-2004, 12:00 PM   #4
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Debian testing/unstable
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apt-get dist-upgrade
Old 06-27-2004, 09:14 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Springfield Ma.
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2,Knoppix 3.7,Slackware 10.0, FreeBSD. 5.3, OpenBSD 3.6, NetBSD 2.0, Debian
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Or aptitude dist-upgrade
Old 06-27-2004, 09:19 PM   #6
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Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Debian Testing
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You can try apt-cache depends "held back package name" to check the dependencies on the package as well to see if it might interfere with an already installed package.


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