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Mandrake Cooker Now Apt-Gettable.

By simmons75 in Technology
Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:06:17 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)

While it barely got a mention on Slashdot (as a Slashback item, no less) Mandrake has joined Conectiva in the list of RPM-based Linux distributions that are working with apt-get.

All Slashdot posted was a link to this message, which claimed that the Mandrake Cooker is apt-enabled. I checked it out. What's exciting about an apt-gettable Mandrake Cooker? It implies that Mandrakesoft might be dropping their own urpmi for apt-get, or that they're going to offer apt-get as an option. Either way, it could mean greater ease of installation/configuration/upgrade for an RPM-based system. It also means that an RPM-based system, not far removed from Red Hat, at that, is on the verge of becoming apt-gettable. Will Red Hat succumb to the pressure of an apt-gettable offspring?

For those of you who haven't followed the developments, Conectiva Linux has added RPM support to apt-get. Part of the original plan (so I've been told) was to make apt-get platform- and package-format agnostic. No one worked on an RPM variant because 1.) Debian people were happy with their apt-gettable distribution and 2.) RPM packages aren't always that logically made at times. :-)

Well, nobody told that to Conectiva. Thanks to Alfredo Kojima and others, apt-get now has RPM support, and apparently you can use apt-get to upgrade a Conectiva machine.

On a personal note, I had nearly made my mind up to install apt-get on my Linux-Mandrake 7.1 box, point it toward the Connectiva FTP server, and see what happened. Then, at the last second, I saw the Slashback announcement.

To get the package to build, I downoaded the apt source RPM from Conectiva's FTP server. Then I issued the following (NOTE: THIS IS THE CONDENSED VERSION. :-)

rpm -ihv apt*src.rpm
cd /usr/src/redhat/SPECS
export CFLAGS="-O3 -mpentiumpro -DRPM4" <--Note: that won't be necessary unless you have RPM 4
export RPMLIBS="-lrpm -lrpmio -lrpmbuild -lpopt -lbz2 -L/usr/lib"
rpm -bb apt.spec
cd ../rpms
rpm -Uvh apt*rpm

And then we're ready to configure. :-) Please don't use this example line for your sources.list file; instead, look at the list of Cooker mirrors on the Linux-Mandrake website.

Essentially, I commented out the old examples and, since the only package list for the Cooker is cooker, this is what I added to my /etc/apt/sources.list file.

rpm ftp://rpmfind.net/linux/8/Mandrake-devel/cooker cooker/Mandrake cooker

Now, we're ready for getting ready to do our stuff. Provided all went well, we can now

apt-get update
apt-get check
apt-get -f install <--The stage I'm at as of writing

Right now I'm waiting for apt-get to download a whopping 66MB of RPMs. Whew! Sorry if this is a little incoherent, folks, but this is exciting news on the Mandrake front.


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o Get yer hands off, that's just for Free-software Debian people! 8%
o is cool 71%
o huh? 19%

Votes: 78
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Slashdot
o this message
o Conectiva Linux has added RPM support to apt-get.
o Alfredo Kojima
o Conectiva' s FTP server.
o Linux-Mand rake website.
o Also by simmons75

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Mandrake Cooker Now Apt-Gettable. | 40 comments (24 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
Mixed feelings (4.25 / 4) (#1)
by fluffy grue on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:25:04 PM EST

On the plus side, apt is the best part of Debian, and it's nice to see other people having this.

On the minues side, apt is the best part of Debian.


Actually, even if it weren't for apt, I'd probably still use Debian. .deb is a MUCH better format than .rpm (MUCH better dependency information, for starters), the .deb database is much more robust and reliable than the .rpm database, and Debian packages are, on the whole, much better-maintained than RPMs, but it helps that there's a standardized controlling authority which makes SURE that things fit the LFS and the like (whereas RPMs seem to be quite haphazard in general). Also having centralized (and on-the-whole responsive) bug-tracking for Debian is a real plus.

So even though apt is no longer Debian-only, I'm still going to stick with Debian. :)
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

re: Mixed feelings (3.00 / 3) (#5)
by eMBee on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:03:24 AM EST

could you elaborate on the minus side of apt?
you failed to explain why you are no longer debian-only

greetings, eMBee. (only recently turned debian-only)
Gnu is Not Unix / Linux Is Not UniX
[ Parent ]

Heh, that confused me, too. (3.00 / 2) (#6)
by simmons75 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:11:40 AM EST

Then I got to the last line:

>So even though apt is no longer Debian-only, I'm still going to stick with Debian. :)

I think the person who made the original comment was just trying to say that having apt-get on a non-Debian, non-.deb-centric Linux system wouldn't be enough to convert him/her from Debian.
So there.

[ Parent ]
the downside of apt-get spreading beyond .deb (3.33 / 3) (#15)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 09:35:27 AM EST

I believe that the implication of the previous poster is that apt-get is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Debian GNU/Linux. Many people use Debian GNU/Linux for this feature alone. If other distributions also use apt-get, Debian GNU/Linux has less feature differentiation and will possibly drop in popularity. If Debian GNU/Linux drops in popularity, then there may be less developers that decide to get involved with Debian GNU/Linux and if the number of developers drops, Debian GNU/Linux may drop in the level of quality of the distribution.

Personally I think that this is an unlikely scenario. It certainly could happen, but I don't think that it will happen.

[ Parent ]

Much better (2.00 / 2) (#21)
by darthaya on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:12:48 AM EST

You also failed to explain why "deb is a MUCH better format than .rpm (MUCH better dependency information, for starters), the .deb database is much more robust and reliable than the .rpm database, and Debian packages are, on the whole, much better-maintained than RPMs". And why is that useful for average Joe users.

I personally, dislike apt-get. I couldn't get my debian well installed because it was doing some weird stuff. ugh.

[ Parent ]

He pretty much said it. . . (3.00 / 1) (#27)
by sune on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:23:09 PM EST

If I make some minor changes to the quote, it becomes "deb is a MUCH better format than .rpm [because it has] MUCH better dependency information, and Debian packages are, on the whole, much better-maintained than RPMs." Now, that was not what the original post said, but it did not take me long to get from there to here. So, that's why. (There are other things, but those two are enough in them selves).

Oh, and as to why it matters to Joe Avg. User, because he can "apt-get install foo" (or double-click 'foo' in gnome-apt I suppose) instead of having to download 'foo' and all it's dependencies himself.

[ Parent ]

Pfft.... (none / 0) (#35)
by simmons75 on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 02:26:43 PM EST

That still doesn't explain the mythically "vastly better" dependency database that Debian has. There are other systems for RPM other than apt-get, most notably YUP, that (allegedly; I'm not a Yellow Dog Linux user as I don't own a Mac) work with a more-or-less RH-compliant dependency system.

RH's system really isn't as broken as some people like to claim. Yeah, once in a while you'll get a real klunker (like a failed dependency that you, yourself can find doing an rpm -qa | grep foo) or a failed dependency that you can't find using rpm -qa | grep foo, like a lib, but even those can be worked around to provide Debian-like dependency handling. YUP simply keeps a DB of what each package provides to handle the weird deps; I don't know how Kojima and Co. do it under apt-get yet.
So there.

[ Parent ]
Is this like FreeBSD's pkg_add? (2.50 / 4) (#18)
by pete on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 10:16:56 AM EST

I generally use Red Hat, but used FreeBSD for a while. One of the coolest things about FreeBSD is the ports/packages system. For people who don't know, ports are source versions of programs and packages are precompiled versions of the ports. They do automatic dependency management, and you can get things remotely. For example, "pkg_add -rv XFree86" will get the latest version of X and all its dependencies.

But here's the best thing: the ports and packages are actively maintained in one central spot. If I want to update RedHat 6.2 to X4.0.2 using rpm...well, frankly, I have no idea how to do it. I just run the regular X install, which screws up my package database. But you can be sure that the latest version will show up in FreeBSD's ports tree in a few days.

So: is Debian's apt_get equivalent to FreeBSD's pkg_add? If it is, I'm switching.


apt-get vs pkg_add (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by thejeff on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:07:44 PM EST

I'm fairly new to FreeBSD, but from what I know they're similar, but apt-get is more suited to automated upgrading. You can do apt-get install <foo>, which will either install the new package foo and all it's dependencies or upgrade it if it's already installed and there is a new version. This, from what I know of FreeBSD, works like pkg_add. (Or typing make in the appropriate ports directory).

apt-get upgrade will get the latest versions of all installed packages, and any new dependencies. This makes staying up to date trivial. I don't know if there is a BSD equivalent. I'm pretty sure there isn't for the ports tree, but I'm not sure about packages. If there is let me know. I want to use it.


[ Parent ]

pkg_version kludge (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by amokscience on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:26:52 PM EST

I don't know what the latest 4.2 has done for this situation but until now you had to use pkg_version (along with cvsup) to upgrade your ports/packages. You *can* automate this with a simple script (cvsup, check version numbers, if new then remove package and install port/package) but it is heavily recomended against auto-mating this (last time I checked).

[ Parent ]
Are packages binary ports? (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by Skippy on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:46:00 PM EST

I'm not sure they are. I think the packages are the pre-compiled binaries of the ports at the time of the point release. I think the ports are updated much more frequently than the packages (if the packages are updated at all). The reason I think this (but I'm not sure) is occasionally I've installed a port only to not quite right or at all but the package worked. Which would make sense if the port were sort of "unstable" and the packages "stable".

Other than that I think you and the other poster are right. apt-get is similar to pkg_add but handles version upgrades as well. In fact, I used Debian before switching to FreeBSD and I like the way both systems start "naked" and let you add what you want instead of the RedHat "kitchen sink" model. (Yes, I know you can install Redhat/Mandrake minimally, but it always seemed like a pain.)

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
[ Parent ]

One potential problem (4.00 / 2) (#20)
by ksandstr on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:08:34 AM EST

... is that apt-get(8) doesn't alone make for the same sort of package system as found in Debian. This is because in Debian, there's a well defined and enforced packaging policy and metric buttloads of peer review (i.e. the kind of problems as with redhat where the MTA was known with three or four different dependency names - this actually happened to a friend).

Also, all the Debian packages tend to come from one source and you can get almost anything (that conforms to the DFSG, and much of what doesn't) as a .deb so there's little chance of faulty dependencies.

You could say that there's more to being Debian than just apt-get(8).

Well, yeah. :-) (4.00 / 1) (#29)
by simmons75 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:50:45 PM EST

>You could say that there's more to being Debian than just apt-get(8).

And from what I've heard from Debian users, the sort of things I do to my Mandrake box would break apt-get anyway, Debian or no. It looks like apt-get's rpm extension interacts with the RPM database, so when downloading new packages the system just consults with the database to see if dependencies are met. I'm ashamed to say I don't know how Connectiva handles this on the mirror end, but I guess the deps are stored in the pkglist file. *sigh* Anyway, I guess it's time to give up on trying to apt-get Cooker stuff on an old, cobbled-together distribution and see if I can do a clean install and apt-get Connectiva packages. :-)
So there.

[ Parent ]
apt-get update ;-) (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by simmons75 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:24:22 PM EST

Well, as it turns out, either my system was too fscked up (likely) for this to work 100% automagically or (more likely) Cooker is fscked up right now. apt-get correctly identified packages that needed to be updated, removed, etc. for the install to go smoothly, but apparently my "by-hand" install of RPM4 screwed everything up. :-( To top it off, the C++ stuff in the Cooker uses a newer version of libstdc++ (which apparently is why apt-get wanted to delete so much stuff.) I went ahead and installed the Cooker version of RPM, but that screwed up apt-get (which will probably require rebuilding the package.) Right now, I'm doing some stuff in Windows, so I haven't gotten it working yet, but I'll post another update when/if I get it working.
So there.

Another update. (3.00 / 1) (#28)
by simmons75 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:46:05 PM EST

Okay, I think thanks to my clobbering together stuff in the past on this Mandrake installation (it was originally 7.1) that there's not really any way to go from my current install to the Cooker, apt-get or no. It's still really neat that apt-get was going to handle installing, removing, and upgrading packages for me. I've heard from other people recently who've had good luck with apt-get for rpm...keep in mind, though, that it's actually alpha software (in other words, despite the fact that apt-get is stable, the RPM extensions are not.) And yes, apt-get can't fix problems automagically, though I knew that before installing it. Looks like it's time to un-bugger the system by wiping the slate clean and re-installing.
So there.

[ Parent ]
That's the Cooker! (none / 0) (#36)
by Bisun on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 05:05:02 PM EST

I guess that it's pretty clear why this is in the cooker branch. Still, it's a great promise. (I haven't been too happy with Mandrake Updater, though it's far better than doing it by hand. Wonder if Mandrake apt-get will work with Debian packages.)

[ Parent ]
Whoops: final update from author. (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by simmons75 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:47:31 PM EST

Well, it seems that I was trying to do an "apt-get -f install" which is what apt-get suggested I do. Whoops. I really needed to do an "apt-get -f upgrade" which would download around 285MB of RPMs. "apt-get -f dist-upgrade" would download over 580MB of RPMs(!) and not having a dedicated line (in other words, being forced to use a modem) means that I really can't do this.

If anyone else tries to apt-get upgrade their Mandrake system, please report your success/failure. I'm curious to see what will happen. :-)
So there.

OK, not so final :-) (none / 0) (#33)
by simmons75 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 10:06:07 PM EST

I decided that since there were so many needed packages, that I'd grab the 7.2 CDs then try building apt-get again. Unfortunately, I let the Mandrake 7.1 installer set the partition sizes for me for root, /home and /usr. root is about a gig and a half, and despite the fact that home and usr are in separate partitions, somehow the system managed to fill most of that space. That, and the 7.2 installer claims it needs 4GB of space in the root partition (!) Even better, apparently the 7.1 installer b0rked the partition table so that Partition Magic can't deal with the partition table. I get Error 120. The only "helpful hints" I've gotten so far is to back up important data and wipe the slate clean. *sigh*
So there.

[ Parent ]
and another :-) (none / 0) (#34)
by simmons75 on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 02:14:33 PM EST

I had decided to upgrade to 7.2 so that I'd hopefully be closer to the Cooker's version numbers (hope that makes sense.) I had to clear out a bunch of crap. Heh, check these numbers.

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda8 2.2G 1015M 1.1G 48% /
/dev/hda7 6.8G 4.7G 1.8G 73% /home
/dev/hda1 5.0G 4.5G 509M 90% /mnt/win_c
/dev/hda5 1.9G 396M 1.5G 21% /mnt/win_d
/dev/hda6 2.9G 1.5G 1.2G 56% /usr

and that's after doing major amounts of cleaning. Yeah, if you do the math, it's a 20GB drive and I've managed to fill about every nook and cranny taken up by Linux. My last drive was only 3.2GB and Mandrake was perfectly happy to reside withing 1GB. :-D

Heh, after I cleaned the space out, I went to bed. (Hey, it was 2am and I was tired. :-D) So I slapped in the 7.2 install CD #1 and crossed my fingers. Boots OK, starts to check for packages, the CD-ROM drive starts to spin up...CLUNK! CLUNK! CLUNK!!! Aargh...not again...my cheap Chinese CD-ROM drive, which boasts about a mythical speed of 50x (and if it gets close, you have to shout to be heard over its racket) decided to take a holiday and decided the best way to do that was to throw the head off track...again. So now I have to tear the machine down, tear the drive down, move the drive head a bit then put everything back together. Yep, once the drive is apart it only takes about 5 seconds...but it takes a lot longer to tear down and put back together. :-/

*sigh* this is starting to get out of hand.
So there.

[ Parent ]
Sweet!!! (none / 0) (#32)
by jdtux on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 06:47:21 PM EST

This is awsome!! Now I don't need Debian for apt-get :D :D :D

Yet another update. (none / 0) (#37)
by simmons75 on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 10:36:11 PM EST

Well, stupid me, I grabbed a 7.2 box at Staples, and didn't see the Macmillan label until I had slapped a CD in the CD-ROM drive. That set is mine now. :-( (In case you don't know, the Macmillan box set was a Release Candidate, not the final version, and has several problems.)

Anyway, I decided to try making a "roll-your-own repository" then apt-get upgrade the darn thing. It's removing scary amounts of required stuff, but claims to be putting it all back on. I'll post yet another update.
So there.

HAH! That didn't take long. (none / 0) (#38)
by simmons75 on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 10:49:21 PM EST

The darn thing apparently spawns off rpm to deal with rpm (in other words , apt-get forks and execs rpm) and removed rpm, popt, db3, bzip2, and other stuff EXTREMELY ESSENTIAL if you want to be able to, oh, I dunno, actually run rpm. Looks like I'll just have to choose the "Install" option and take my chances. :-)
So there.

[ Parent ]
Stock 7.2 doesn't cut it ... (none / 0) (#39)
by strepsil on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 11:03:58 PM EST

Just for the sake of anyone who is planning on trying this, if you have to use "apt-get -f", don't do it. It'll remove essential packages and you'll be truly stuffed.

You'll need to do some manual upgrades first to get to the point where you can sync with the cooker - namely the glibc-2.2 packages and dependencies from the cooker. By the time you've gone though the hunting down of packages needed to do this, you'll have a better understanding of why apt-get is nice. :)

Hints if you're going to try upgrading glibc: the ldso package is gone (replaced by the ldconfig package), and the libdb files are no longer in glibc (packages are named db*.rpm. If you do your "rpm -Uvh" and specifiy all the packages on the same command line, it should upgrade cleanly.

Once you've done that, manually upgrade util-linux and cdialog from the cooker. At this point, apt-get should stop insisting on removing packages and you can start tracking the cooker with apt.

Disclaimer: It worked for me. You could always be patient and wait for the next Mandrake release, you know.

*nodding in agreement* (none / 0) (#40)
by simmons75 on Mon Jan 08, 2001 at 01:34:09 AM EST

Yeah...the story was written a bit too early. :-) That's precisely the steps I went through to apt-get the Cooker, btw. I plan on writing a followup...once people's tempers calm down a bit :-)
So there.

[ Parent ]
Mandrake Cooker Now Apt-Gettable. | 40 comments (24 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
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