[kwlug-disc] is it just me, or is debian package management painful?

Chris Frey cdfrey at foursquare.net
Thu Aug 13 22:17:13 EDT 2009

On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 09:39:25PM -0400, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>   apparently it does, but i hope you appreciate how this sort of backs
> up my frustration with debian pkg mgmt.  the system already has dpkg,
> dselect, apt-get and aptitude on it, but i can solve my simple problem
> by installing a *fifth* package because it does something basic that
> the first four don't.  how many package management solutions does one
> OS really need?

Yes, I can appreciate your frustration.  But installing deb files off
the internet without going through an apt style repo is so rare that
apparently nobody has bothered to add the functionality to apt-get.

> but no one uses "rpm" directly much anymore.  it's all yum.

The debian repos are generally considered so comprehensive that installing
a .deb file hardly ever needs to be done.  The package may be a little old,
but they are usually already there.

This isn't so much the case on RPM style systems, and I do tear my hair
out similar to you when I use those systems. :-)  It's just different

I don't know if anyone pointed to this document yet, but here's a wiki
that explains how to do it with apt-get:


If you do this a lot, you might want to create a consistent file:// directory
where you drop random .deb files and then just rerun scanpackages.

And doing it manually via multiple cycles of dpkg + apt-get hasn't bothered
me, since I do it so extremely rarely.  I might have done it once in the
last 5 years.

- Chris

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