[kwlug-disc] question about querying ubuntu metapackages(?)

Chris Frey cdfrey at foursquare.net
Tue May 4 16:33:02 EDT 2010

On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 01:47:11PM -0400, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>   now, given that there are multiple versions of automake shown  
> above, i have to assume that if i choose to install "automake", well,  
> what exactly is going to happen?  and what incantation will explain to  
> me what the package "name" of "automake" really represents?  a  
> specific version?  all versions?  what?  thanks.

You're free to install all versions.  Specifically when it comes to
autotools, you generally want to install the very latest that your
distro supports.

But if you do install more than one, you'll notice that /usr/bin/automake
is a symlink to:

[cdfrey@ src]$ ls -l /usr/bin/automake
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 26 Sep  4  2007 /usr/bin/automake -> /etc/alternatives/automake

The /etc/alternatives directory is where you can choose which version of
programs you want to use by default:

[cdfrey@ src]$ ls -l /etc/alternatives/automake
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 21 Mar 25  2009 /etc/alternatives/automake -> /usr/bin/automake-1.9

More details here:


- Chris

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