-   Linux - Distributions (
-   -   Package Manager Nightmares (

wartstew 05-27-2003 11:42 AM

Package Manager Nightmares
:confused: I guess I am going about things the wrong way or something, but I routinely have trouble with package managers. Here are my problems:

1) With RPM based distro's I usually end with something refusing to install. Sometimes with "circular" dependency conflicts where something needs to be uninstalled (which sometimes isn't even installed anyway!) for something else to install but then it ends up eventually ends up depending in some way on the thing I am installing anyway. I guess I can use the --force option, but I figure it will eventually just make my distro unstable.

2) With Debian, things usually install, but at the cost of uninstalling large portions of my system. Usually KDE and Gnome ends up being removed. Sometimes it's worse. Debian is really what I am interested in learning how to deal with because of it's large software base, and "apt-get" and "dselect" does work well when it doesn't uninstall most of my system.

3) I get along the best with Slackware because it simply doesn't do any dependency checking. So after I install something, I have to manually find and install (or trick) all the dependent files to make it work. This should be the hardest solution but somehow for me it has been the easiest, except that it eventually catches up to me as I make my Slackware distro unstable and then have to give up and install the latest version anyway.

I feel I must be missing something. How do others keep their OS up-to-date without major hassles? Is there any documents I can :study: that can suggest strategies, methods, and tips for dealing with all this?

carlywarly 05-27-2003 12:00 PM

I use Mandrake and URPMI. I set up a few rpm repositories that are urpmi-friendly, and add them as sources in my Software Manager. Then, when I find an app I want, I open a console, su to root, type in "urpmi the packageIwant" and it finds and installs said package. If the package isn't at one of my repositories, I download it to my hdd and do the same thing. Nearly always, it sorts out the dependencies. I can't remember when I had a problem with it.

Here's a site that generates a script to add several repositories for Mandrake 9.1 -

wartstew 05-27-2003 01:55 PM

Hmmm, URPMI looks good maybe. Especially if you say you've had good luck with it.

Do you mainly only install packages that "belong" to the original distribution (ie: Mandrake 9.0) or do you have good luck grabbing bleeding edge packages from "Cooker" and have good luck installing them into earlier releases (like MDK-9.0).

I do have an aging and abandoned Mandrake 9.0 sitting on a partition on one of my computers because I haven't gotten around do dealing with all the hardware mis-configuring the installer did. (Slack-9 and Knoppix installed much better on this machine). I guess I need to play around with URPMI on it and see what happens since it would be no big deal if it totally broke the installation.

I used to like Mandrake a lot (Ver-7x days), but later decided it was a little bit too unstable for me. Maybe I should give it another chance (then maybe give them some money, it sounds like they need it!)

Thanks for the tip.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:32 AM.