A grumpy editor's calendar search
Posted Mar 10, 2004 4:37 UTC (Wed) by socket
In reply to: A grumpy editor's calendar search
Parent article: A grumpy editor's calendar search
So I don't post comments that much anymore, but this needs to be responded to: the parent post is simply wrong. There are many cases where you need to use 'apt-get dist-upgrade' instead of just 'apt-get upgrade'. The difference between the two isn't only relevant in a major version upgrade, especially if you're running unstable which has a lot of packages changing all the time. Here's the difference, as described in the apt-get manual page:
upgrade is used to install the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system from the sources enumerated in /etc/apt/sources.list. Packages currently installed with new versions available are retrieved and upgraded; under no circumstances are currently installed packages removed, or packages not already installed retrieved and installed. New versions of currently installed packages that cannot be upgraded without changing the install status of another package will be left at their current version. An update must be performed first so that apt-get knows that new versions of packages are available.
dist-upgrade, in addition to performing the function of upgrade, also intelligently handles changing dependencies with new versions of packages; apt-get has a "smart" conflict resolution system, and it will attempt to upgrade the most important packages at the expense of less important ones if necessary. The /etc/apt/sources.list file contains a list of locations from which to retrieve desired package files.
In short, it's sometimes important to do a dist-upgrade on debian testing or unstable, otherwise packages won't install because they depend on something which conflict with something you've got installed. A dist-upgrade will remove a package if doing so resolves a conflict and allows a new package to be installed.
In fact, dist-upgrade is always supposed to keep your system consistent, even if the packages themselves are otherwise broken.
That said, I can't say I have a whole lot of respect for Debian after the whole All Documentation Must Be Free Including RFCs fiasco. Free documentation is apparently more important than open standards, I suppose. Whatever.
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