debian dependecy hell

Christopher Browne cbbrowne-HInyCGIudOg at
Fri Jul 30 02:12:18 UTC 2004

> Ok, dpkg hosed the installation. It has nothing to do with my packages, 
> which are now installed, and I can almost compile. dpkg has cleverly 
> removed most kde components, including konqueror. I wish I could 
> understand what caused it to remove all those packages ?!!!

You evidently told it to.  Throw in an incompatible set of dependancy
requirements, tell the system to "force" things a few times, and you'll
get wedged in a bad state.

> In general apt-get does not understand packages installed with dpkg -i 
> (why not ?).

apt is aware of the packages for which you have sources defined in

If you install a barrel of packages that the packaging system doesn't
have "sources" for, thereby _destroying_ the systems notion of
dependancies, well, there's no surprise that this caused you grief.

If you use dpkg to randomly install .deb files that you found somewhere
on the Internet, then you are destroying the integrity of the packaging
system, in _exactly_ the same manner that installing random .rpm files
found using will "break" an RPM-based system.

Installing random stuff of dubious provenance is _always_ something that
leads to significant risk of corrupting your system, whether that means:

  - Installing a bunch of .deb files for which you have no dependancy
    information because they do not correspond to anything in

  - Installing a bunch of .rpm files from 8 different sources, some
    intended for some other version of Red Hat Linux,

  - Installing Slackware, then installing some GNOME libs by hand,
    then trying to use Slackware packages to upgrade Galeon.

What you did was guaranteed to destroy the integrity of the
distribution's capability to manage packages.  You're not going to
_ever_ see an improvement on this.  

Pick another distribution, apply the same approach you took, and you'll
get much the same set of grief, albeit with the possibility that another
distribution might silently go along with the attempt to reinstall
things before libraries crumble into a pile of crud.
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