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Old 07-22-2004, 09:10 PM   #1
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Reason for packages being held back

Is there a way to find out why certain packages are held back while using apt-get?

For the past few days samba and some related files have been held back on my three machines running sarge, yet on a friends computer also running sarge samba isn't being held back.

Obviously this must be a package I have installed which is preventing the upgrade of samba and if possible I'd like to find out which one.

Old 07-22-2004, 09:21 PM   #2
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Try aptitude. I find that it gives better info of what's going on with package upgrades, unmet dependencies, etc than using plain apt-get.
Old 07-22-2004, 09:41 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2004
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sounds like you need to update your package list "apt-get update" or perhaps it could even be that your source (in sources.list) is hasn't updated either.
Old 07-22-2004, 10:29 PM   #4
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I think packages are held back during upgrading when they require installing NEW packages in addition to upgrading existing ones. Perhaps your friend running sarge has those packages installed so samba is upgraded. If you want to upgrade samba and it is held back just:
apt-get -t testing install samba
Or you can simulate it to see what happens before you actually upgrade it:
apt-get -s -t testing install samble
You will probably see that it asks for permission to install some NEW packages.

Last edited by m_yates; 07-22-2004 at 10:30 PM.
Old 07-22-2004, 10:31 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
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Are you using 'apt-get upgrade' when you are having these problems? If so try using 'apt-get dist-upgrade'
Old 07-22-2004, 11:07 PM   #6
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There is a good example of this problem in the APT-HOWTO at
Old 07-23-2004, 08:43 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, I got it working by simply doing apt-get install samba. It then proceeded to remove an old package and replace it with a new one with a similar name.
Old 07-23-2004, 07:54 PM   #8
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Ohio
Distribution: Debian Unstable
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just do

apt-get dist-upgrade
that will resolve all the dependencies for the packages that are being held back.


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