debian dependecy hell

Tim Writer tim-s/rLXaiAEBtBDgjK7y7TUQ at
Thu Jul 29 02:16:05 UTC 2004

"Peter L. Peres" <plp-ysDPMY98cNQDDBjDh4tngg at> writes:

> 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.

Dependency mismatches in what sense?  Unless you're trying to build a .deb,
I'm not aware of any kind of dependency mechanism/toolset beyond the
traditional trial and error approach.  IOW, read the docs, install packages
you're sure are needed, run "configure" (or whatever), and resolve any
complaints by installing appropriate packages.

> 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:
> Questions:
> 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 ?

    apt-get install pkg2 pkg3 ... 

will install pkg2, pkg3, and anything they depend on.

> 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.

Sorry, I don't follow this.

> 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)

Upgrading to testing is probably the easiest approach right now.  And install
as much as possible using apt-get.  In general, you can only install "leaf"
packages from source.  IOW, if you want to install package a which requires
package b and package b requires package c, you can:

    apt-get install b

This will automatically pull in package c and you can then install package a
from source, if you so choose.  But if anything depends on package a or you
want to install something that depends on package a subsequently, you cannot
install it from source.

> 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
>    installed
>    libgtk2.0-dev: Depends: libgtk2.0-0 (= 2.4.4-1) but 2.2.4-6 is to be
>    installed
>                   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

What does:

    apt-get -s -t testing -f install


tim writer <tim-s/rLXaiAEBtBDgjK7y7TUQ at>                                  starnix inc.
905.771.0017 ext. 225                           thornhill, ontario, canada              professional linux services & products
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