package management

Finding Debian packages installed from backports.debian.org

Using backports is a nice way to get newer versions of software while continuing to use Debian stable. If you ever want to list the packages installed from the backports repository, aptitude can help:

aptitude search '~S ~i ~O"Debian Backports"'

You get the search term "Debian Backports" (the so-called origin) for the backports packages from the output of

apt-cache policy

For a list of valid origins depending on your APT sources, we can filter this by using grep and sort:

apt-cache policy | grep -o o=[^,]* | sort -u

So of course this also works to find out which packages got installed from other repositories.

Forcing gzip compression when building Debian packages

If you're building packages on a recent Debian-based distribution and are getting

dpkg-deb: file `blah.deb' contains ununderstood data member data.tar.xz     , giving up

when trying to install the package on an old system with dpkg version < 1.15.6, you can force the usage of the gzip compression algorithm by changing the dh_builddeb in debian/rules to:

dh_builddeb -- -Z gzip

If you do not have an old-style debian/rules files where all the dh_* calls are listed but only one generic stanza like

%:
        dh $@

then you can add

override_dh_builddeb:
        dh_builddeb -- -Zgzip

below that to set the option for dh_builddeb.

dpkg 1.16.0 and upwards nagging about version numbers

After upgrading to dpkg 1.16.0 the other day I got messages like

dpkg-deb: error: parsing file '/var/lib/dpkg/available' near line xxx package 'yyyyyy': error in Version string 'zzzzzzz': version number does not start with digit

every time I used apt-get or aptitude.

gnupg, apt-get und die Uhrzeit

Beim Installieren von Debian etch auf einem Linksys NSLU2 ist mir heute folgendes Problem untergekommen:

Aergernisse bei checkinstall bzw. installwatch

checkinstall ist zwar einfacher anzuwenden als ein richtiges Debian oder RPM-Paket zu bauen, und natuerlich ist ein richtiges Package gerade beim Verteilen auf mehrere Rechner praktischer, trotzdem ist es halt nur eine Kruecke.

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