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Haloony 03-17-2006 01:33 PM

synaptic questions
Hey guys I am running Ubuntu breezy and I have some questions/problems regarding the synaptic package manager. I wanted to upgrade my firefox from 1.0.7 to 1.5 but I couldn't do that with synaptic because it only had 1.0.7 and even if I did apt-get update it didnt change. All this was fine because I knew how to compile form source I changed the firefox symlinks on the menu to target my new bin and I was fine, and i uninstalled the old firefox with synaptic.
Recently I wanted to upgrade my gnome from 2.12 to 2.14, but that also wasn't on synaptic so I downloaded the granome source which would allow me to build gnome. I used synpatic to find and install all the dependencies that garnome asked for but it still didn't work. I was wondering if there was a specific repository that I could add to synaptic that would make this a lot easier. Any help or direction would be great. Thanks

pixellany 03-17-2006 03:21 PM

My (limited) experience is that you cannot count on repositories for the LATEST versions. Conversely, it is seldom necessary to have the latest....

If you NEED it, just install directly, and then wait for the next release.

David the H. 03-17-2006 05:10 PM

Yeah, there's usually some lag time between when a new version comes out and when packages get built for the repositories. Sometimes you have to wait for a while, but usually it's just a few days. Yes, you can build your own, but I've found it usually isn't worth the effort of administering a mixed system. Now I only build from source if I absolutely need to, such as if a program is unavailable in the depository or if the packaged version has a bug or something. Otherwise I just wait patiently.

As for dependencies, new versions of programs sometimes also need new versions of the libraries they build on. So you often need to download and build them first before you can compile the main program. It's one of the main reasons I find it such a pain, and you can get library dependency conflicts pretty easily. Apt is much nicer in keeping track of such things for you.

Finally, if you are going to build from source, I recommend using the checkinstall program. Use it with the -D flag instead of 'make install' and it will build a .deb package for you instead of installing directly. It makes keeping track of and uninstalling more convenient. The installed package will even show up in Synaptic for you.

David the H. 03-17-2006 05:16 PM

PS: You may also try to find what you want on, which lists a large number of the common unofficial debian package sources available. Chances are that if it's available at all you'll find it there.

Haloony 03-18-2006 07:12 PM

ye I guess you are all right, and I really don't need to upgrade, but for firefox the upgrade to 1.5 was neccessary for a lot of new extensions to work. David the H. i have a question for you though, I installed the checkinstall program but Im not sure what to do it with it, am I supposed to run it with the acrhive file or the make file. It's not for the purpose of gnome anymore I just didnt know that there was a way to do what you described and it would be immensly helpful in the future.Thanks all for your responses.

David the H. 03-19-2006 10:47 AM

Compile your program normally with make, then instead of using "make install", use "checkinstall -D". It will build the deb package and automatically install it for you. There are other options available too, of course. Read the man page!

I did have to wait around a bit myself for Firefox 1.5, but it was only a few weeks after all. Nothing I couldn't live with. You do know that they changed the package name for it don't you? At least in the Debian repository, I'm not sure about Ubuntu. 1.5 is now simply "firefox" instead of the older "mozilla-firefox". I think mozilla-firefox is just a dummy upgrade package now.

Also, even if you did't want to wait, it wasn't necessary to build Firefox from source. has very good stand-alone Linux binary packages also, complete with installer.

Haloony 03-19-2006 12:00 PM

Over here in Ubuntu the package named firefox is still listed under 1.0.7 as latest version. I've apt-get updated a few times already so thats not the problem maybe it has something to do with the repositories. Whatever, and thankyou I have now have a lot of solutions for any problems that will come regarding not being able to access synaptic or not finding a certain program. I understand it's usaually not needed to update if the update isn't in the repositoris. Again I appreciate all the insight.Thanks.

mcmillan 03-19-2006 06:18 PM

Apparently firefox is linked with some kind of important parts of ubuntu, making it likely to break if you get rid of 1.07, which is why 1.5 isn't going to get put in the official ubuntu repositories until the next version of ubuntu.

It's possible to get 1.5 but it requires a bit more work. There's directions on the ubuntu wiki here

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