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-   -   Unstable is really unstable... (

shorty_boy 08-25-2005 09:18 PM

Unstable is really unstable...
atleast lately. man it has totally broken my system (ever since they started messing with My system is so broken that the kde menu does not display ne apps and no mime types exist (i always get the open with menu). I can't even open a folder with out having to type in konqueror as the app to open a folder with. I tried to uninstall everyting dealing with X, KDE, and GNOME, but the same thing happens after i re install them all. I even purged all of their config files (and the ones of the files assosicated with those meta packages.) Is there a way to fix this or do i have to reformat and install from scratch. Yes i was using Synaptic before my system broke to the point where i could not install synaptic without un installing KDE. I feel so stupid now!!!! Am i making any sense?

aysiu 08-25-2005 09:33 PM

I've used unstable and not had those problems. I don't know how you got to that point, but a reinstall is probably your best bet. Back up your bookmarks, emails, and files, and reinstall--that's what I would do.

Xian 08-25-2005 10:23 PM

Unstable lives up to its name these days due to the Xorg and GCC conversion. You can reinstall but be aware that you are running a Debian branch that is undergoing some major transitions and as a result you could experience ongoing breakages.

Of course if you are using Unstable then you should already know this.
If you don't like finding & reporting bugs then Unstable is not recommended.

Installing apt-listbugs will help you keep critical bugs off your system while using Unstable, so I would advise using this at all times. Or you could just install Etch, add the Unstable repos to your source list, and simply upgrade selected packages that you want on your system.

ironwalker 08-25-2005 11:16 PM

Unstable works here...once in awhile I'll get something broken afterwards but its easily fixed if you know what is and what isnt supposed to be there.Usually if something is removed you can reinstall it after the upgrade by itself.if it still wont install then wait a day or two and everything will be fixed.Thats whats great about unstable...if theres a problem yopu can opt out and not do the upgrade and wait a day or two for everything to be sorted out.
its not a problem.Your problem most likely accumalated while removeing everything dealing with X,kde, and gnome....had you just said no to the upgrade and waited all would have been fine.chalk it up to user error.Live and learn.

Xian 08-26-2005 12:02 AM


Are you running a Kanotix version of SID or pure Debian SID?
I think the OP is strictly Debian and thus some difference in results....

craigevil 08-26-2005 12:20 AM

Even in the #debian irc they will tell you Sid is majorily broken right now. DO NOT do a apt-upgrade unless you want a screwed up system.

There are many packages that do not have their dependency issues straight. Not to mention xorg, kde, and gcc.

Be safe and use Synaptic or aptitude to manually choose the packages you want to upgrade and pay attention to the apt-listbugs warnings.

Running Sid is a little like a dice toss especially now with the major changes going on.

Unless you know how to fix the problems that are involved in running Sid you might want to try running Etch/testing instead.

makuyl 08-26-2005 01:51 AM

The menu problem comes from getting kdelibs-data 3.4.2 which doesn't match your other kde packages.
Downgrade it to what you used to have either by downloading it from debian web page or looking for it under /var/cache/apt/archives/

ironwalker 08-26-2005 09:53 AM

Haveing only one source addy for kanotix,useing all the debian source addy's makes it pretty much the same system.Granted Kano will put certain pakages on hold if he see's fit...other than that its the same.
The exact same unstable pakages from debian mirrors.

Oh and I run 2 non Kanotix debian boxes as well.

Xian 08-26-2005 05:27 PM


Originally posted by ironwalker
Haveing only one source addy for kanotix,useing all the debian source addy's makes it pretty much the same system.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Out of curiosity, if you only use the Debian SID repos in your source list and do an 'apt-get dist-upgrade', how many packages does it list to hold back, remove, and install? Just post the output from the terminal if you wouldn't mind.

I'm wondering how close your install is to a pure SID system.

ironwalker 08-26-2005 05:51 PM

Haveing just did a dist-upgrade I have;
~$ sudo aptitude dist-upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading extended state information
Initializing package states... Done
The following packages have been kept back:
arts cdcat imwheel kappfinder kate kcontrol kdebase-bin kdelibs
kdelibs-bin kdelibs-data kdepasswd kdeprint kdesktop kdm kfind
khelpcenter kicker klipper kmenuedit konqueror-nsplugins konsole kpager
kpersonalizer ksmserver ksplash ktip kwin libkonq4 libtagc0 python-apt
0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 30 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B of archives. After unpacking 0B will be used.
Writing extended state information... Done
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading extended state information
Initializing package states... Done

When this thread was started only kdebase and kde-libs and kde-libs-bin were on hold as far as kde related.
libtagc0 python-apt arts imwheel was the others.

It changes daily....even if it is just one pakage.

Xian 08-26-2005 06:10 PM

Not allowing for the different KDE packages (which is to be expected), that is a _very_ close mirror to the current Debian SID package list. Thanks for taking the time to post that output. Kano is much closer to SID than I had thought.

ironwalker 08-26-2005 06:38 PM

The only thing that makes Kano different is all the scripts he has to simplyfy all the hard tasks,some different optimisations,and the enviorment he uses has alot of what one would normally have to go and setup from a vanilla debian install.
He does have after HDD install testing sources uncommentted as a fallback but I comment them out and strictly use unstable.Other than that,the directory structure is pure debian.Also all of his scripts work on a vanilla debian install.I use his scripts on my other boxes as well which run vanilla debian.

shorty_boy 08-27-2005 01:25 PM

Well thanks guys
U my whole reason for using unstable was that someone told me that it was extremely stable (considering the name) and some packages that i wanted to use where newest in unstable but i forgot that sarge was about to become the new stable branch (two weeks after that i have been battling with a broken system). I was able to fix minor probs, but once i saw i installed it and that is where my problems started, not to mention that the ati dirver screwed stuff up too. But i figure i'll just do a reinstall and do testing (like i had originally done). Thanks for the info guys i really appreciate it. And to avoid the hassle of debian working with ATI drivers, i think i'll dual boot between debian and redhat (redhat accepts the drivers without a problem).

rednuht 08-30-2005 05:14 PM

be careful downgrading the kdelibs, see

shorty_boy 08-30-2005 07:00 PM

so yeah i just reformatted and installed.
yeah my system i was installed with stable and then upgraded to testing. Fast as iono now (my system was significantly slower before...i guess from broken libs). So yeah thanks for the help and i hope this thread helps other like me!

McCloud 08-31-2005 07:28 PM

I'd like to give some input too.

I was using unstable, but yesterday my OS disc crashed. Luckily my homedirs are on another disc and I copied my important config files a couple of weeks ago. So I bought a new disc, installed the Sarge base system, changed the /etc/apt/sources.list to unstable and that's were the problems begin. Xorg installs fine, but the Gnome meta-package is uninstallable due to missing dependencies. KDE is also a mess at this moment.

So I switched back my sources.list to testing, but because a newer version of apt was installed, Gnome from the testing repository wouldn't install either. So I ended up reinstalling the Sarge base install and switched to testing.

The Xorg transition and KDE are really a mess right now. I want to go to unstable as soon as possible, mainly because of the newer version of Firefox. Normally I just compiled Firefox myselft (apt-get source -b) from SID using the Etch libraries, but that doesn't work because this new Firefox package depends on Xorg packages that aren't in Etch yet.

I just can't do a dist-upgrade to Etch right now because it wants to remove my complete Gnome and KDE installation. I'm gonna try to remove the Gnome meta-package and do dist-upgrade to SID after I've done that.

Dead Parrot 08-31-2005 09:54 PM


I want to go to unstable as soon as possible, mainly because of the newer version of Firefox. Normally I just compiled Firefox myselft (apt-get source -b) from SID using the Etch libraries, but that doesn't work because this new Firefox package depends on Xorg packages that aren't in Etch yet.
Anything good is worth waiting for. Xorg should be soon in testing. :)

Btw, if you're running etch, you can get security updates (including the security-patched version of Firefox) by adding this to /etc/apt/sources.list :

deb etch/security-updates main contrib non-free
Xorg is now in testing. :)

craigevil 08-31-2005 10:58 PM

Firefox 1.0.6 can be installed in Sarge and Etch:
Add the following backport to your sources.list

Backports of various packages for Debian 3.1 Sarge
# Updated versions of Mozilla, Firefox and Thunderbird
# For more information visit
deb ./

lucky_dev36 09-05-2005 02:18 AM

I installed Xorg...
I uninstalled everything and upgraded base to testing. Installed Xorg, no problems! I use
xdm with twm. (Very basic)

You are having problems?? (Probably cause you tried to install KDE...)

makuyl 09-05-2005 02:47 AM

Well, kde 3.4.2 in unstable is working now but some packages are still missing. Only worth to dist-upgrade if you're feeling adventurous and won't miss the packages it'll remove. Unless you compile from source that is.

lucky_dev36 09-05-2005 11:45 AM

I dont have any packages missing (since I uninstalled everything except my base, before I installed Xorg.)

shorty_boy 09-15-2005 07:45 PM

i decided to give gnome a try again...
and i love it. it is so much faster and less resource hungry than kde is on my system (i went to kde because gnome use to do the same thing back in the day). well i think i am going to stick with gnome for a while cause it is hella fast with xorg (which is in testing). Well etch is the ish man.I love my debian woot woot.

lpd 09-16-2005 02:46 PM

I've been using Debian Unstable for a couple of years and I can really confirm that the GCC-4.0 and transition have been the worst period so far. I do have a few tips that will make it easier:

Use 'apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade' for normal day-to-day system maintenance. I used to use 'dselect', I liked that it always asked me before doing stupid things but I grew tired of that it often would suggest the wrong things. (Like updating one minor soundlib at the cost of removing 20-50 applications or half of the X installation.)

Remember to use '--simulate' when you want to try something with 'apt-get', like the weekly or monthly 'apt-get dist-upgrade'.

When you're satisfied with your system, make a total backup!
Use something like 'tar' then burn the tar files on a couple of CDs or DVDs. Reinstalling from tar files is way faster then reinstalling a complete system, especially if you've been using Unstable for a while. Don't forget to backup the '/var' directory like I did once. Not so fun to redo a semi-working 3+ GB installation because I was missing a few 100 MBs of /var.

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