debian dependecy hell

Peter L. Peres plp-ysDPMY98cNQDDBjDh4tngg at
Wed Jul 28 18:38:48 UTC 2004

Hi all,

I am stuck again by the debian (in)dependency problem. I am trying to 
compile a non-deb package that depends on a lot of stuff, but said stuff 
in turn depends on other things, and there is a large amount of dependency 
mismatches. I am new to debian and I am trying to do things otherwise than 
I would in Slackware (;-), so here is some data and a few questions which 
I hope you can answer:


1. Given a package pkg1 needed, that causes a dependency list that 
requires pkg2, pkg3 etc to need to be updated before installing pkg1, is 
there a (safe) way to avoid this recursive installation ?

1a. If there is no safe way for 1) then how can I find the pkg1 that goes 
with pkg2, pkg3 etc, on which pkg1 depends.

2. In general, what is the best practice to keep a debian system happy, 
assuming that one does not want to ride the oldest horse in the stable 
(i.e. stable version)

Some data:

Reading Package Lists...
Building Dependency Tree...
You might want to run `apt-get -f install' to correct these:
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
   libglib2.0-dev: Depends: libglib2.0-0 (= 2.4.2-1) but 2.2.3-1 is to be 
   libgtk2.0-dev: Depends: libgtk2.0-0 (= 2.4.4-1) but 2.2.4-6 is to be 
                  Depends: libpango1.0-dev (>= 1.4.0-3) but it is not going 
to be installed
                  Depends: libatk1.0-dev (>= 1.6.1-2) but it is not going 
to be installed

Some more questions:

What is the exact meaning of a line like:

'libgtk2.0-dev: Depends: libgtk2.0-0 (= 2.4.4-1) but 2.2.4-6 is to be installed'
(1)                       (2)             (3)         (4)

My take is that it means:

While trying to install (1), it was found that it depends on (2) but 
something or other (what ?) decided that (4) is to be installed instead of 
(3) first.

This take does not sound right to me. Please correct it if you can.

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