Daniel Burrows's notes on Aptitude 0.4.10

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Daniel Burrows's notes on Aptitude 0.4.10

Postby Telemachus » 2008-01-30 01:00

Aptitude in Lenny & Sid has a few new features, some cosmetic but some more important. For example, a cosmetic feature that I like is that if you update Aptitude at the command line, Aptitude now prints out as a final line a little statement telling you how many upgrades/new packages are available. A more serious change is that "aptitude safe-upgrade" (ie, aptitude's version of "apt-get upgrade" - more or less) now will install new packages as dependencies. (You can change this behavior with "--no-new-installs" as an option at the command line.)

Anyhow, I haven't heard much about this here, and I just wondered what people thought of the changes. You can read more details at Daniel Burrows's on blog: http://algebraicthunk.net/~dburrows/blog/entry/aptitude-0.4.10-released/
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Postby eyelid » 2008-02-08 12:56

After doing aptitude update I use this which installs most but not all upgrades:
Code: Select all
aptitude safe-upgrade

Then I do this to install the rest:
Code: Select all
aptitude full-upgrade

I'm no expert but it looks like aptitude makes a distinction between stuff that is in the toolchain and so therefore requires more special attention. Aptitude will even sometimes hold back some packages until all dependencies are fully met. This alone makes me feel much more secure using aptitude.
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Re: Daniel Burrows's notes on Aptitude 0.4.10

Postby stoffepojken » 2008-02-08 14:27

Telemachus wrote:Aptitude in Lenny & Sid has a few new features, some cosmetic but some more important. For example, a cosmetic feature that I like is that if you update Aptitude at the command line, Aptitude now prints out as a final line a little statement telling you how many upgrades/new packages are available. A more serious change is that "aptitude safe-upgrade" (ie, aptitude's version of "apt-get upgrade" - more or less) now will install new packages as dependencies. (You can change this behavior with "--no-new-installs" as an option at the command line.)

Anyhow, I haven't heard much about this here, and I just wondered what people thought of the changes. You can read more details at Daniel Burrows's on blog: http://algebraicthunk.net/~dburrows/blog/entry/aptitude-0.4.10-released/


The first feature is great. I love that I dont have to type aptitude safe/full-upgrade to see if I have any updates. I dont understand the second feature about installing dependencies. Hasnt aptitude always done that? Isnt a dependency always a dependency?
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Re: Daniel Burrows's notes on Aptitude 0.4.10

Postby Telemachus » 2008-02-09 01:34

stoffepojken wrote:The first feature is great. I love that I dont have to type aptitude safe/full-upgrade to see if I have any updates. I dont understand the second feature about installing dependencies. Hasnt aptitude always done that? Isnt a dependency always a dependency?

I love the first feature too. I'm sorry but I don't think that I explained the second feature very well. Here's the deal: in old Aptitude (and current apt-get), if you ask for "safe-upgrade (or in apt-get "upgrade"), you only get newer versions of packages that are already installed. If, however, there's an available update of something you have - package Q - but it has a new dependency - package Z - which you don't yet have installed, then Aptitude and apt-get would not install the newer Q. That used to be when you got the "package Q" held back message, and if you wanted it, you had to do a dist-upgrade (full-upgrade in Aptitude), or specifically ask to install package Q (rather than just ask for a generic "update").

If you call for a general update now, the new Aptitude would install package Z in order to update Q without your having to ask for a "full-upgrade". So, the new "safe-upgrade" is more "aggressive" than the old one. I suspect that some people won't like this change. There is less of a difference between "safe-upgrade" and "full-upgrade" in Aptitude than there is between "upgrade" and "dist-upgrade" in apt-get. Here's Burrow's much more direct version:
Daniel Burrows wrote:* safe-upgrade will now install new packages to fulfill dependences (but it will never remove packages, downgrade packages, or install a version that's not the default). The option --no-new-installs will disable this behavior.


@ Eyelid - the difference between "safe-upgrade" and "full-upgrade" has to do with "removing, downgrading, etc" in order to install new versions. I don't think that Aptitude tracks the toolchain per se.
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Postby stoffepojken » 2008-02-09 13:36

Thank you for that explanation Telemachus. Now I understand. That feature is good for me too. I always do a full-upgrade anyway.
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Postby Telemachus » 2008-02-09 13:54

stoffepojken wrote:That feature is good for me too. I always do a full-upgrade anyway.

Ditto, but I know that some users (Sid users especially?) do not trust full-upgrade. So this may be something that keeps Sid folks further away from Aptitude. Mostly I just thought it was worth talking about: although apt-get and Aptitude are moving closer to each other's behavior in some ways, they are diverging in others.
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