Tag Archive for 'apt'

Hi Debian, welcome to 1904

I tried to install Debian onto an old PPC iMac with 300MB RAM without success.

Firstly, the testing network and business card installers would segfault when booting. A known problem which hasn’t yet been fixed.

No matter, I just switched to the stable network installer and began my journey. Problem is, it gets stuck at configuring packages. Just sits there at 1% forever. When I see the log, I notice that it’s prompting me to confirm the installation of packages, which is hidden from the main screen and therefore what was causing it to die.

Changing root into /target I ran a few commands myself and noticed that apt-get update said that the GPG keys from debian-archive-keyring were invalid.

DAMN. What’s going on..

So I tried everything I could to fix it. Googled and Googled and Googled to no avail. Lots of people had similar issues, but forcing a re-install of debian-archive-keyring fixed it for them. Others said to use a different mirror.

I was about to curse Debian for no-longer caring about PPC and then it hit me. Check the date of the machine. Yes, sir, it was 3rd January 1904 – as far as Debian was concerned, the keys were well and truly invalid.

So a simple, apt-get install ntpdate && ntpdate ntp.internode.on.net and everything was sweet. Why it didn’t do this properly when I configured the time during the installer I don’t know. Nevertheless, I’m happy again.

Silly me.


Yum still on the menu?

Update: I’ve tried to post my results back to Seth’s thread but it won’t work, so I’ve emailed him instead.

In response to my article comparing Yum and Apt (at least I think it was my article, might have been someone else’s I guess), lead developer of Yum, Seth Vidal, wrote his own test script and performed some Yum benchmarks of his own.

He wrote:

Always a fun comparison. It’d be even more fun if any of the numbers seemed accurate.

His ran his test and concluded that Yum is “pretty good” and offers for others to run the test and post their results. So I did, on the same computer I used for the my article. I also compared the results to Ubuntu, as that’s really what my article was talking about πŸ™‚

So what did I find?

Continue reading ‘Yum still on the menu?’

Having Yum for Breakfast

This week I decided to write a comparative article between Yum and Apt (the package managers). Using Fedora 11 and Ubuntu 9.04, I performed various tests and benchmarked both the time and CPU usage they took. But why? Let me explain.

I really like the Fedora project. Really. I like their stance on proprietary drivers and codecs (and of course free software) and these days they seem to be pushing the technological envelope more than others. Sure Red Hat drives the direction of the project somewhat, but I don’t mind Red Hat either.

In fact, I wish I could use Fedora as my main distro! But every time I try it I just get so frustrated with Yum. Sure it’s better than up2date, but it’s so damn slow and annoying. That’s a problem for someone like me who manually updates his package database first thing every morning and checks to see what packages are available and updates the system by hand. Why do I do that? Cause I like to.

But every time I’ve tried to get into Fedora that damn package manager has stopped me. I get frustrated after a day or so. I think the longest I’ve had it on was 2 days before I switched.

Recently I installed Fedora 10 and 11 to see if there was any performance increase. Actually, to tell you the truth I was completely surprised by Yum’s agility and speed. The old Fedora I remember was not to be seen.. or so it felt like anyway.

Hence, I thought it might be good to run some tests to see.

Of course as the article points out, does any of this matter? Do we really need a fast a nimble package manager? Well for me it matters. It matters a great deal. For most users though they probably won’t care, as they just let the package manager do its thing in the background.

Still, it makes for some interesting thoughts. I think.

Changing priorities

I’m scripting some sys admin tasks in Debian which require the installation of packages like Postfix. I don’t want it to prompt me with questions, so I knew I had to set the priority to something higher for this specific package (i.e. temporarily). There doesn’t appear to be a way to pass this to an apt-get command (which was a little disappointing) but debconf can set it system wide under /var/cache/debconf/config.dat, but that’s, well, ugly.

Turns out there’s an environment variable you can set to achieve what I want, DEBIAN_PRIORITY. So exporting this variable and unsetting it post install will do the trick, but I still think apt-get -p critical install postfix would be better πŸ™‚