View Full Version : apt-get upgrade: what are your experiences?

05-18-2004, 12:29 AM
My miserable phone modem connection at home has protected me thus far from experimenting with apt-get upgrade on any Knoppix HD install. In a couple of days, though, I'll have a machine at work which I intend to partition for a Knoppix HD install, and it'll be connected the fast way to the Internet.

So in general terms, from those of you who've apt-get upgraded:

How dangerous is it given Knoppix's heterodox mix of debian and nondebian packages? What kind of pitfalls are common? What tricks, if any, can help get around them?

I realise that I can just install plain debian and upgrade safely from there -- but I'm genuinely interested in what does and doesn't go wrong with the Knoppix version of this, and hope that those of you with experience will be enlightening. Thanks!

Durand Hicks
05-18-2004, 04:07 AM
Works fine for me. I haven't borked an install from apt-get upgrade except for the very first time shortly after I jumped into linux with both eyes closed. That time, I didn't know what I was doing and didn't know the various combinations and tricks that I've learned since then. But given what I know now, it's a great tool, better than window's upgrade installation methods by a wide margin.

05-18-2004, 11:52 AM
Yes, if you have just started from scratch it won't be too much of a hassle to jstart again should apt-get upgrade stuff up your machine.

I did it on one of my machines (I was intending to type 'apt-get update', but I guess my mind wasn't on the job ;)) and it was a disaster. KDE didn't work correctly, I lost all my menus all my working wine apps started falling over. It was a real pain.

You might try the following solution, though which was poster by Durand Hicks. I haven't tried it, so I can't confirm if it works, but it looks like a nice idea:

You can clothesline your system by open a console and type:
dpkg --get-selections > todaysdate.txt

That will give you a list of currently installed software, and if a majority were removed and you want it back, you can open a console as root and type:
dpkg --set-selections < todaysdate.txt.

Remember to do the get-selections clothesline everytime you do an upgrade, install software, or remove software. I can't tell you how many times I've tried this and it saved me headaches in tracking down what was installed and what wasn't installed based on a certain date. I realize this isn't the same as imaging your system, but it's great for taking a "snapshot" of installed software but not the settings or configuration, but to me, it's an acceptable tradeoff as I don't have to deal with removing junk vis-a-vis windows registry. Anyone who has used windows knows what I'm talking about, programs don't uninstall cleanly after themselves thus leaving us with an nearly impossible task of searching orphans in the registry and orphaned files left behind in various directories. With apt-get or dpkg, it makes it so simple, that I consider the microsoft way "stone-age computing". Back in the days of DOS, it was easy as deleting the directory the programs resided in.

05-18-2004, 03:23 PM
Big thanks to Durand Hicks and Rink for this info! ( I hope it works!)
I read else where on the board here that there is a place where the daily builds are archived. Wouldn't the safest solution in using apt-get be to replace the sources with just these for the distro's date in order to "lock in" on the build versions and avoid dependancy problems or am I missing something? Also, if this may in deed be the way to go does anyone know the address to the sources?


05-18-2004, 04:56 PM
From V3.3...
From memory, over the last few months, the gimp 2.0 has a few issues, I had an issue with locales last week, and part of kde failed during the update from 3.1 to 3.2.

1. I've just told the gimp not to upgrade.
2. locales required editing of /etc/locale.gen to remove the offending locale (and others that weren't needed). See post entitled locales.
3. KDE was fixed by a dist-upgrade rather than upgrade (don't ask me what prompted me to try that!!!)


05-18-2004, 08:49 PM
Thanks! All very helpful information. I'm feeling more reckless already!

05-19-2004, 05:11 AM
Well I wouldn't get to reckless I still have very serious doubts about using apt-get with the HD install and am trying to learn how to "pin" things down here. From past experience I know that continuous apt-get update / apt-get upgrade cycles will eventually break applications and am wondeiring if perhaps there is a better way of approaching this?

05-21-2004, 04:31 PM
For me, apt-get upgrade is just a big "taboo"...

Considering you didn't mention what version you are running, and if you did, and I missed it, I appologize, but, for me, I am running v3.3, hard drive installed, and apt-get upgrade has been more of a pain that a God-Send...

Before the new v3.4 came out, I only had problems with "upgrade". I would do it, and something wouldn't work, or something would have broken dependancies, and required a week or two to try and isolate and resolve "what went wrong".

With the "roll-out" of v3.4, and a host of other things that were "updated" on that version, I don't dare try a upgrade at this time. From what I hear, KDE is going to try and upgrade, and possibly some of the "kernel specific" changes may try as well.

For me, I don't do a apt-get upgrade - just the update -=- I am going to run as long as I can without doing the upgrade, get me v3.4, install it, and then, maybe, be able to do the upgrades again. But, until I can get "current" with the version, I don't dare touch upgrade at this time...

Just my thoughts,
Ms. Cuddles

05-21-2004, 08:40 PM
I know this is kinda cheating, but if you use synaptic to perform the apt-get upgrade step, you can:
1. See what it's going to do easily.
2. Deselect bits that scare you.
3. Lock version on bits you don't want changed.

But you're right, you can still manage to break things. I guess that's what you get for running on a combo of Sarge & Sid.
If you don't want to break things, run Woody.