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

Lori Paniak ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com
Tue May 4 16:48:10 EDT 2010

On Tue, 2010-05-04 at 16:33 -0400, Chris Frey wrote:
> 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:
> 	http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/91
> - Chris

Thanks for reminding me about update-alternatives, Chris!  The most
useful of all tools in the deb universe.

The GNOME frontend, galternatives is really handy if you happen to have
a GUI.

Question for those wiser than myself:  Why don't the compilers (gcc, g
++, gfortran...) in Debian/ubuntu use the update-alternatives system?
It would seem to be a no-brainer.  Especially when my GPU code won't
compile in gcc-4.4 but works in gcc-4.3... 

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