[Techtalk] Debian apt and dpkg help, FIXED KDE works yay

Carla Schroder carla at bratgrrl.com
Mon Aug 25 11:57:10 EST 2003

On Monday 25 August 2003 8:43 am, Hamster wrote:
> Hi,
> > If you want to usually use debian testing, but occasionally get
> > packages from unstable, you can use "pinning" instead of
> > commenting/uncommenting lines in apt-sources.
> There's another method which might also work.
> In your sources.list, include both testing and unstable sources and then in
> apt.conf, add the line APT::Default-Release "testing";
> You'll then get testing packages by default, and when you want to pull
> something from unstable, then use the command ap-get install -t unstable
> xyz

Thanks everyone!  I fixed it I fixed it yaaaay me, here's the rundown. I'm 
running Libranet 2.7, with KDE 3.0.3 already installed. It might have been 
better to remove it first, but that is a horridly painful process.

1. First start with the correct package source.  kde.org could be a wee bit 
better organized, regardless, here is the magic page: 


And amazingly, it says in plain English "Debian 
Debian stable (woody) (Intel i386, IBM PowerPC, DEC Alpha) : deb 
http://download.kde.org/stable/3.1.3/Debian stable main ".  I had a confused 
sources.list before. So I made my source.list look like this:

deb http://libranetlinux.com updates/2.7/
deb http://libranetlinux.com security/2.7/

#deb-src ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian woody main contrib non-free
#deb ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian woody main contrib non-free
#deb http://non-us.debian.org/ unstable/non-US main contrib non-free
deb  http://download.kde.org/stable/3.1.3/Debian stable main

#Debian Non-US
deb http://non-us.debian.org/ woody/non-US main contrib non-free
#deb-src http://non-us.debian.org/ woody/non-US main contrib non-free

#Debian security updates
deb ftp://security.debian.org/debian-security stable/updates main contrib 
#deb-src ftp://security.debian.org/debian-security stable/updates main contrib 

I commented out 'deb ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian woody main contrib non-free',  
just in case there were moldy old KDE packages lurking there, waiting to 
pounce. And deleted some other KDE sources.

2. apt-update
3. apt-get dist-upgrade
4. it choked repeatedly on certain packages. Unfortunately I did not copy the 
error messages, it was something like 'error installing x package, because 
there's already something old there with dependencies, so piss off'.

I've been down this road before- using dpkg to manually remove the offending 
packages is beyond tedious. Lo and behold, Google came to the rescue, right 
here in the Techtalk archives:

"use dpkg instead of apt, with the force-overwrite option on.
(You will need to know the full path name for the package you are

i.e. something like this:

dpkg -i --force-overwrite /var/cache/apt/archives/packagename_3.1.3_i386.deb"

Well well well! That was the missing magic command. Every time apt-get 
dist-upgrade choked, I ran dpkg -i --force-overwrite <package> on the stuck 
Then apt-get -f install, then apt-get dist-upgrade again.

It's no good just running apt-get -f install, that does not force the new 
packages to overwrite the old ones.

Thanks for all the good help. KDE on Debian has always been a bit difficult, I 
am happy it all works now.

Carla Schroder
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