Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

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Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby varialus » 2012-12-09 22:58

Update: The basic idea is to install Wheezy with minimal packages and then Gnome 2 and other packages with as few Squeeze dependencies as possible, but generally preferring Squeeze backports over regular Squeeze packages. There are currently a few dependency differences between Squeeze and Wheezy which tend to cause more Squeeze packages to be pulled in than I would prefer. For example Squeeze uses Python 2.6 and Wheezy uses Python 2.7, so many Wheezy packages end up breaking Gnome 2. A Squeeze backported Python 2.7 that worked with Gnome 2 would go a long ways toward making many Wheezy packages not break Gnome 2. There's an Ubuntu PPA for various versions of Python which may be able to fix this particular dependency problem, but I haven't tested it out yet.

  • If ever you have appreciated or respected Gnome 2, then please, until it is fully restored to both stable and testing Debian main repositories, install the package usage survey on Debian installations which have Gnome 2 or MATE installed and please uninstall the package usage survey from Debian installations which don't have Gnome 2 installed.
  • Download and boot from debian-wheezy-DI-b4-amd64-netinst.iso.
  • Select 'Advanced options' > 'Expert install'.
  • Select 'No' when asked whether to allow login as root.
  • If you prefer to use sudo rather than su, then select 'No' when asked whether to allow login as root.
  • A few side notes about file systems.
  • Btrfs is what I recommend for the root partition on Debian because it is a copy-on-write file system and it now has file-level deduplication.
  • HAMMER has off-line block-level deduplication and is all around the best file system available, but it's unfortunately only available on DragonFly BSD, which is an amazing operating system, but somewhat targets a more technical audience than Debian.
  • ZFS has block-level deduplication, which is better than file-level deduplication, but it can only do on-line deduplication, so its memory model is out of control.
  • ZFS is owned and controlled by Oracle and its license is incompatible with the GPL, but there are two Linux implementations of ZFS and it could be integrated into the Debian installer, but it has not been integrated with it yet. Although it's not integrated into the installer, it can be used as the root partition with some custom configuration.
  • EXT3 and EXT4 are very stable, but don't have deduplication.
  • If you're using VirtualBox, a separate dedicated writethrough disk image for swap space will make snapshots take up less space.
  • Before making virtual machine snapshots, make sure that the virtual machine doesn't contain removable media such as a CD or DVD .iso disk image.
  • Before starting up a virtual machine for the first time, make a few empty snapshots to give yourself a little extra breathing room when reverting mistakes.
  • Unselect every installation option when prompted to choose software to install.
  • Log in after the installation finishes.
  • Open the list of software repositories by executing the following command: sudo nano /etc/atp/sources.list
  • Duplicate the list of repositories using Ctrl-k to cut lines and and Ctrl-u to paste lines.
  • Replace the name wheezy with the name squeeze on the first set of duplicated repository lines.
  • Press Ctrl-x to be prompted whether to save while exiting the text editor and then press the y and Enter keys to save the file.
  • Create a software repository preference file by executing the following command: sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences
  • Type the following three lines.
Code: Select all
Package: *
Pin: release n=squeeze
Pin-Priority: 1001

  • Press Ctrl-x to be prompted whether to save while exiting the text editor and then press the y and Enter keys to save the file.
  • Start the package manager by running the following command: sudo aptitude
  • Pressing Ctrl-t opens the top menu, arrow keys can be used to navigate the top menu, and Esc closes the top menu.
  • Pressing u is a shortcut for updating the package list. Pressing / is a shortcut for searching for a package.
  • Groups of packages can be marked by highlighting their containing line.
  • Pressing + is a shortcut for marking a package for installation and normally it would also be a shortcut for marking a package for upgrade, but with squeeze pinned with a priority of 1001, it is instead a shortcut for marking a package for downgrade.
  • Pressing - is a shortcut for marking a package for removal.
  • Pressing b is a shortcut for finding the next broken package.
  • Pressing g is a shortcut for opening the review changes screen, but if the review changes screen is already open, even if it's not selected, then pressing g will start the installation process.
  • Pressing q is a shortut for closing screens and closing aptitude.
  • Pressing q can also be used to cancel the installation process, which is handy if you accidentally start the installation process and it's still downloading packages.
  • Update the package list.
  • Downgrade apt and aptitude in preparation for Gnome 2 by doing the following.
  • Mark the package apt for downgrade.
  • Mark the package libboost-iostreams1.42.0 for installation.
  • Mark the package libept1 for installation.
  • Mark the package libapt-pkg4.12 for removal.
  • Mark the package libept1.4.12 for removal.
  • Mark the package apt-utils for downgrade.
  • Mark the package aptitude for downgrade.
  • Mark the package aptitude-common for removal.
  • Mark the package libapt-inst1.5 for removal.
  • Review package changes.
  • Start the installation.
  • Don't worry if the installation fails.
  • The packages should still be marked correctly, but if they're not then re-mark the packages.
  • Start the installation again.
  • It should succeed the second time.
  • Install Gnome 2 by doing the following.
  • Mark the package gnome-desktop-environment for install.
  • Mark the package tasksel for downgrade.
  • Mark the package liblocale-gettext-perl for downgrade.
  • Mark the package libtext-charwidth-perl for downgrade.
  • Mark the package libtext-iconv-perl for downgrade.
  • Mark the package libuuid-perl for downgrade.
  • Mark the package ienglish-common for removal
  • Mark the package xkb-data for downgrade.
  • Mark the package ibritish for downgrade.
  • Mark the package iamerican for downgrade.
  • Mark the package ispell for downgrade.
  • Mark the package dictionaries-common for downgrade.
  • Start the installation.
  • Do the following to install Iceweasel v10.
  • Open the list of software repositories by executing the following command: sudo nano /etc/atp/sources.list
  • Replace the contents with the following lines.
Code: Select all
deb http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports squeeze-backports main

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main

deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ squeeze main
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ squeeze main

deb http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main

  • Press Ctrl-x to be prompted whether to save while exiting the text editor and then press the y and Enter keys to save the file.
  • Open the software repository preference file by executing the following command: sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences
  • Replace the contents with the following lines.
Code: Select all
Package: *
Pin: release n=squeeze-backports
Pin-Priority: 51

Package: *
Pin: release n=wheezy
Pin-Priority: 50

Package: *
Pin: release n=squeeze
Pin-Priority: 50

  • Press Ctrl-x to be prompted whether to save while exiting the text editor and then press the y and Enter keys to save the file.
  • Start the package manager by running the following command: sudo aptitude
  • Update the package list.
  • Mark the package iceweasel for installation.
  • Press b to highlight the broken package xulrunner-10.0 and press enter to view the info screen.
  • Mark the following unmet package dependencies for installation with the backport package versions which contain the letters bpo in their versions: libcairo2, libnss3-1d and libpixman-1-0.
  • I didn't have any other other dependencies, but if you do, fix them.
  • Review the changes and start the installation.
  • Once the installation finishes, just for good measure shut down the system completely with the following command: sudo shutdown -h now
  • Boot up.
  • Welcome back to Gnome 2!
Last edited by varialus on 2012-12-13 18:21, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby confuseling » 2012-12-09 23:01

varialus wrote:
  • If ever you have appreciated or respected Gnome 2, then please, until it is fully restored to both stable and testing Debian main repositories, install the package usage survey on Debian installations which have Gnome 2 or MATE installed and please uninstall the package usage survey from Debian installations which don't have Gnome 2 installed.


Stopped reading here, sounds really stupid...
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby buntunub » 2012-12-09 23:33

GNOME 2 is unsupported in Wheezy and thus, will not ever include security updates. This alone makes this whole mess a non starter right out of the gate.
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby varialus » 2012-12-10 00:01

buntunub wrote:GNOME 2 is unsupported in Wheezy and thus, will not ever include security updates. This alone makes this whole mess a non starter right out of the gate.
It doesn't exist in the Wheezy repository. My instructions use the Squeeze repository for Gnome, which currently is supported and will continue to be supported for some time to come. My instructions do include security updates for Gnome 2.

Edit: I was happy about my little contribution, so I shared a link in the #debian IRC channel, but was quickly run off by them. So just to make it clear. THESE STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT OFFICIALLY SUPPORTED. People were asking for how to do this and I wanted to know for myself, so I figured it out, wrote it up and shared it.

Sources:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions ... zy-928211/
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=72783
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=78326
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=71568
http://www.mentby.com/Group/debian-user ... heezy.html
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=73270
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=81109
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=72536&start=150 (Poll with 7 ways to drop Gnome 2. How about the following option? I'll stop using Gnome 2 when you pry it from my cold dead hands!)
viewtopic.php?p=393901#p393901
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=73819
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=71448
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=74541
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=72524
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=84773&start=15
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=63626
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=64950
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby nadir » 2012-12-10 02:11

so I shared a link in the #debian IRC channel, but was quickly run off by them.


And you then posted it here?
Cause at #debian they got no clue? In your opinion?
Cause you thought: wtf ?

Next time someone gives you advice at #debian, take it serious.

The how-to, btw, is a mess. If you plan to ever write a how-to again, structure it.
"I am not fine with it, so there is nothing for me to do but stand aside." M.D.
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby Randicus » 2012-12-10 05:03

varialus wrote:Edit: I was happy about my little contribution, so I shared a link in the #debian IRC channel, but was quickly run off by them.

I do not mean to be rude, but that should tell you something. Although it is laudable that you did so much work to achieve the goal, the goal is misguided. Gnome 2 is dead. The wisdom of jury-rigging the system to keep a DE that is no longer supported by the people who made it is questionable. But congratulations anyway on getting the job done.
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby bw123 » 2012-12-10 05:05

the stuff about file systems was interesting
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2012-12-10 05:26

bw123 wrote:the stuff about file systems was interesting

Yes.
I've had a bit of a play with zfs (via fuse) for deduplication, but it was a bit heavy and I didn't get the warm fuzzies that would let me trust it with my data.
I currently run 'fdupes -L' over my backup as part of the automated process, (to cope with moved files that 'rsync --link-dest=' misses) and it does what I need, but I've got BTRFS testing on my todo list for next year.

FWIW I fail to see the need for deduplication on your / partition.

Edit: oh, and to veer back onto topic - I too think munging gnome 2 into wheezy is a silly idea :)
... but you are certainly free to do so if you wish.
AdrianTM wrote:There's no hacker in my grandma...
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby cra1g321 » 2012-12-10 07:08

Want Gnome 2 on Wheezy ?

Use MATE :roll:
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby varialus » 2012-12-10 12:34

nadir wrote:
so I shared a link in the #debian IRC channel, but was quickly run off by them.


And you then posted it here?
Cause at #debian they got no clue? In your opinion?
Cause you thought: wtf ?

Yes, then I mentioned it here because I was completely caught off guard by the negative response to my sincere effort to address the concerns of the community rather than dismissing them. All I had been hoping for in the IRC channel was a friendly one line affirmation, but even if no one replied, I wouldn't have said another word than my single line sharing my contribution. Something along the lines of "Nice job varialus, thanks for the contribution." was what I was looking for. I was caught off guard by everyone ripping on it, so I got defensive. It was as much, if not more, my fault that it escalated, than anyone's, but it honestly was a hostile environment sharing a contribution that's not in line with what they want worked on. I have no problem with other people contributing to other desktop environments, but I am not at all interested in contributing to solutions which are headed in the opposite direction of what I want out of my desktop environment. I don't want to switch. I don't want fancy new features. I just want to maintain the current stable software that currently exists. And there's nothing wrong with that.

nadir wrote:Next time someone gives you advice at #debian, take it serious.

Or what? I won't be welcome in the #debian channel? Nice threat Captain Obvious.

nadir wrote:The how-to, btw, is a mess. If you plan to ever write a how-to again, structure it.

It's a mess because mixing repositories is messy and difficult. If I had been at it for ages, then I would have abstracted it out and given it more structure. Sorry that it doesn't meet your quality standards, but it's better than the constant premature proclamations of Gnome 2's death that are so prevalent around here. Gnome 2 will be supported by Debian in Squeeze for round about a year after Wheezy is finally released and hopefully by then MATE will have stabilized enough to make it a viable replacement, but for now there are no viable official solutions for people who just want to use Gnome 2 in Wheezy, so if we want to make it work, we need unofficial solutions such as mine.
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby confuseling » 2012-12-10 13:39

It's a sign of bad faith that your first bullet point is essentially;

"Please rig the stats so us disaffected Gnome 2 users are more likely to get what we want."

Remove that, and people *might* have a little more sympathy.

That said, Gnome 2 isn't going to be restored to Debian, because it's been abandoned upstream, and Debian doesn't write or maintain desktop environments. MATE avoids conflicting with Gnome 3 by duplicating lots of library code into itself to avoid name collisions, in contravention of Debian policy (as is my understanding - I haven't really researched it), so that's probably out for now, but not in principle. I think however the consensus is that the people currently maintaining it simply aren't numerous enough, or knowledgeable enough about the code, to succeed. Cinnamon uses modern libraries, so is more plausible [edit - in fact it's in already, didn't notice that...]. A lot of people have happily defected to XFCE, and think effort is better spent improving that. Or you can try to persuade Gnome to keep improving the fallback mode.

Have a hot drink (maybe even a stiff one :) ), and read this.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=72366

varialus wrote:All I had been hoping for in the IRC channel was a friendly one line affirmation, but even if no one replied, I wouldn't have said another word than my single line sharing my contribution. Something along the lines of "Nice job varialus, thanks for the contribution." was what I was looking for...


Sorry, but you're fighting a losing battle, and using dirty tactics to do it.

--

There's always Scientific Linux or Centos 6. Gnome 2 with support until 2020.
Last edited by confuseling on 2012-12-10 14:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby Randicus » 2012-12-10 14:01

@varialus
To be honest, I do not completely understand the rationale behind this project. By your own admission,
Gnome 2 will be supported by Debian in Squeeze for round about a year after Wheezy is finally released

So this procedure will be obsolete soon.
You also state,
hopefully by then MATE will have stabilized enough to make it a viable replacement

Again, you admit this is only temporary. Until Debian, the last bastion of Gnome 2, no longer supports it.

I wish you the best of luck, but, and this is merely my opinion, I believe you are expending effort in the wrong direction. Especially since you plan to switch GUIs when the last vestiges of support for Gnome 2 dissipate. Instead of delaying the inevitable, you should switch sooner than later.
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby nadir » 2012-12-10 16:47

varialus wrote:
nadir wrote:The how-to, btw, is a mess. If you plan to ever write a how-to again, structure it.

It's a mess because mixing repositories is messy and difficult. If I had been at it for ages, then I would have abstracted it out and given it more structure. Sorry that it doesn't meet your quality standards,.


If you want to contribute then you need to meet the quality standards:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=10370
I am not sure how much years of experience one needs to add paragraphs and headlines.


Or what? I won't be welcome in the #debian channel? Nice threat Captain Obvious.

Not: not welcome there. You would have saved yourself (and especially us) the trouble here.

If the people at irc #debian say something you could try to assume that they are right.
In other words: to learn from them.
They _do_ know what they talk about.

common sense tells everyone that it is not a good idea to arrive somewhere and start telling people how to do it right. No? In which culture is it done like that?
"Hey,new here ... let me tell ya... "
I have seen more than one of such how-to's, and the writers pretty soon vanished in the void (adding kde4.x.y to debian stable was a good one ....)
"I am not fine with it, so there is nothing for me to do but stand aside." M.D.
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby emariz » 2012-12-11 03:31

Putting the goal aside, I think that this how-to could help many users, including those who complained here. No matter how dumb the quest may be, one must understand a couple of things about Debian's package management to accomplish this task. And I like playing with Aptitude.
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Re: Gnome 2 in Wheezy Step by Step

Postby nadir » 2012-12-11 22:35

emariz wrote:Putting the goal aside, I think that this how-to could help many users, including those who complained here.

You are right there.
If i will ever want to check how to use nano and can't remember that it has the help on the screen, in front of my eyes, than i will look it up here.
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