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Debian Package Management Presentation

Getting the packages

Now that you've edited your sources.list file, it's time to let Debian know what all the packages are. The command to do this is "apt-get update". This command reads thru your sources.list file, connects to any necessary web sites, and downloads the package listing from each site. On a dialup connection, this can take a minute or two since some package listings are over 1 Meg in size.

Debian needs to do this so it can determine which package version is the newest to give to you. This is why I tend to keep unstable commented out. I don't want Debian to download a version that's so new that it doesn't work. :)

If you wanted to get every new update (looking for security packages and any upgrades), you can type "apt-get dist-upgrade". An important benefit to note is that you can interrupt a dist-upgrade at any time and restart it from where you left off. This can be useful if you're trying to download a Gnome upgrade on a dialup connection.

However, if the package you want isn't on your system yet, you'll need to type "apt-get install <package>". For instance, when I needed to install KDE 2.2.1, I typed "apt-get install kde". That's it! No messing with --force lines (thought apt and dpkg support this) and no dependency hell!  Apt-get is able to correctly determine the dependencies and download all of the files for you in the initial apt-get install run.

Below is a sample of output from an apt-get install session: (edited for brevity)

excalibur:/home/bobc# apt-get install kde-games
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
  amor eyesapplet fifteenapplet kabalone kasteroids katomic kbackgammon
  kbattleship kblackbox kdecarddecks kjezz kjumpingcube klines kmines kmoon
  kodo konquest kpat kpoker kreversi ksame kscore kshisen ksirtet ksmiletris
  ksnake ksokoban kspaceduel kteatime ktron ktuberling ktux kwin4 kworldclock
  libkdegames lskat
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  amor eyesapplet fifteenapplet kabalone kasteroids katomic kbackgammon
  kbattleship kblackbox kde-games kdecarddecks kjezz kjumpingcube klines
  kmines kmoon kodo konquest kpat kpoker kreversi ksame kscore kshisen ksirtet
  ksmiletris ksnake ksokoban kspaceduel kteatime ktron ktuberling ktux kwin4
  kworldclock libkdegames lskat
0 packages upgraded, 37 newly installed, 0 to remove and 494  not upgraded.
Need to get 10.2MB of archives. After unpacking 24.6MB will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 http://http.us.debian.org unstable/main amor 4:2.2.1-2 [215kB]
Get:2 http://http.us.debian.org unstable/main eyesapplet 4:2.2.1-2 [15.6kB]
Fetched 10.2MB in 1m28s (116kB/s)
Selecting previously deselected package amor.
(Reading database ... 62484 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking amor (from .../amor_4%3a2.2.1-2_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package eyesapplet.
Unpacking eyesapplet (from .../eyesapplet_4%3a2.2.1-2_i386.deb) ...
Unpacking kde-games (from .../kde-games_4%3a2.2.6_all.deb) ...
Setting up amor (2.2.1-2) ...
Setting up eyesapplet (2.2.1-2) ...
ldconfig: File /usr/lib/libkssl.so.2.0.2.dpkg-devert.tmp is too small, not checked.
ldconfig: File /usr/lib/libkssl-nossl.so.2.0.2.dpkg-devert.tmp is too small, not checked.
Setting up fifteenapplet (2.2.1-2) ...
ldconfig: File /usr/lib/libkssl.so.2.0.2.dpkg-devert.tmp is too small, not checked.
ldconfig: File /usr/lib/libkssl-nossl.so.2.0.2.dpkg-devert.tmp is too small, not checked.
Setting up libkdegames (2.2.0-final-2) ...
ldconfig: File /usr/lib/libkssl.so.2.0.2.dpkg-devert.tmp is too small, not checked.
ldconfig: File /usr/lib/libkssl-nossl.so.2.0.2.dpkg-devert.tmp is too small, not checked.
Setting up kabalone (2.2.0-final-2) ...
Setting up kasteroids (2.2.0-final-2) ...
Setting up klines (2.2.0-final-2) ...
Setting up kde-games (2.2.6) ...
excalibur:/home/bobc#

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Apr. 1, 2004 2:16 pm US/Eastern