Andrew Channels Dexter Pinion

Wherein I write some stuff that you may like to read. Or not, its up to you really.

January 09, 2002

Debian Configuration Woes

In the words of Victor Meldrew - "I don't believe it".

I thought I understood this technology stuff. I've managed to install Debian on Bobo's old laptop (a Thinkpad 390E for the technical). All went swimmingly well (eventually). Now I have a stable system which I can boot up and log onto. When I go to do some actual work I discover that the tools I want to use (python, wxGTK, wxPython) are either not present or terribly out of date. "No problem" I think to myself, this was the reason I chose Debian, as it has this wonderful package structure to help me seamlessly upgrade. With just a few key strokes I can get the latest version of any module on the system and know that it will work. Beautiful.

Well, two days and innumerable swear words later and I am no better off. I have traced the source of my frustration though. The Debian package utilities (dpkg, apt-get and dselect) all rely on a configuration file (/etc/apt/sources.list if you must know) and the contents of mine is wrong. I know it is wrong because the package utilities all tell me so. What they don't tell me, and what I can't find anywhere on the web or in the manuals, is how to fix it. Good grief. I shall be writing a stern e-mail, once I have solved my problem (and I'll put the solution up here as well).

Posted by Andy Todd at January 09, 2002 11:29 AM