[kwlug-disc] ubuntu: why do newer kernel packages sometimes get held back on upgrade?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Thu Jul 1 10:29:14 EDT 2010

Lori Paniak wrote, On 07/01/2010 10:12 AM:
> On Thu, 2010-07-01 at 08:51 -0400, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>> (normally, i'd ask this on the ubuntu users mailing list but i'm
>> getting kind of weirded out by how so many people there don't seem to
>> understand questions.)
>>   when i do a normal apt-get update/upgrade combo, why is it that
>> three kernel-related packages sometimes get held back?  as i read it,
>> i can, if i want, run:
>>   $ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
>> to pull them in.  is that the recommended way?  thanks.
>> rday
> Can you give us some more info about your current distro (9.10, 10.04,
> 10.10)?  Do you have backports enabled in /etc/apt/sources.list?
> Often updates will be held back if a dependency is not available (yet).
> I've seen this in ubuntu pre-release testing installs.  Running aptitude
> and selecting the packages in question, you can scroll through and look
> at the dependency list and see what is holding things up.  Usually the
> situation clears itself up in a day or so when the required package hits
> the repo.

Bob, can you post your sources.list?

Last time I ran into this, debian, the twit had installed one version, 
added some unstable, installed some downloaded source instead of from 
repository, and upgraded to testing. And debian had bumped up a 
version in the meantime. It was a mess.

Ubuntu is different, non-free, backport, etc., vs stable / testing / 
unstable, but similar could be part of the problem.

Things like apt-cache show or apt-cache showpkg may give you a clue. 
OTOH, aptitude may well show you the same in a more user friendly manner.

A little more extreme, comment out or take out non-free, etc., long 
enough to see just which one is causing you grief - either is bringing 
in a newer version than the others, or, you're already at a higher 
version than is available in the repository. (The latter is what 
caused most of the grief, above.)

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