[conspire] More Firefox Addon problems - this tie from MS

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Feb 8 23:38:38 PST 2010

Quoting Ed Biow (biow at sbcglobal.net):

> I tried installing sidux on a machine I gave to my atheist-son (being
> a non-believer I can't really have a God-son).  It wasn't a good call,
> IMO. Updating the system requires dropping to init 3 with apt-get
> dist-upgrade, which is not going to be easy for a new user.

Um, excuse me, but why on earth would updating require changing

I personally treat an HD-installed system that started from a Sidux live
CD the same as I do any other Debian system.  Which means one can
upgrade it from any runlevel without particular distinction, though
obviously one where you have networking is useful.  

Mind you, the appropriate audience for Sidux is someone comfortable with
running testing/unstable who understands what he/she is getting into
with a high-quality rolling distribution.  That means not the "look at
the pretty pictures" crowd who like MEPIS because it comes with
centralised administrative tools for KDE.

> Even for regular package management the sidux guys recommend using
> apt-get.

So?  Personally, that would be what I'd use without anything else, but
those preferring something that invokes it directly would want to just
use that (synaptic, adept, kpackage, aptitude in its mode as an apt-get
front-end, whatever).

> I don't recall that Synaptic or any other GUI tool is even installed
> by default.

I would not personally have noticed one way or the other, unless I were
making a special effort to find out such things.  My recollection is
that synaptic is some kind of gtk2+-based thing.  So, it probably
doesn't come with the default KDE or Xfce4-based live CDs, but is one
package operation away.

Anyway, they recommend apt-get because it's excellent in a variety of
ways, and is in general smarter than other setups, without dumb
modifications to package operation defaults sometimes introduced by
various front ends.  I tend to agree with them -- and not just within
the context of Sidux nor of Debian-unstable, but on deb-based
distributions generally.  However, that doesn't mean you cannot get by
using other things, which people obviously do all over the place, every

And yes, I've read that alarmist crap on one of the Sidux pages about
how apt-get's the only safe way to do package operations.  That's their
way of reducing their support problems, but is really no more a
necessity on Sidux than it is on testing/unstable generally, which is to
say, not much.

> The other item to note is that all of these types of GUI package
> managers need to run in init 5, and/or, in X, and in doing a
> dist-upgrade in init 5 and/or X , (or even an 'upgrade' which is not
> recommended), you will end up damaging up your system beyond repair,
> maybe not today or tomorrow, however in time you will."

That's pretty much an alarmist pile of rubbish.  But it does mean they 
have an excuse to disregard support questions from anyone who doesn't
follow their advice and gets in trouble for any reason.

> The sidux folks recommend a "DU" every week or two, with a month or
> two being the maximum safe time between apt-get dist-upgrades.

Again, alarmist rubbish.  It'll be a good _idea_, of course, because
you're following a rolling distribution.  Obviously, you do not want to
defer re-syncing for a long time and have to wallop everything massively
forward all at once.

> Because there is so much package churn in sid that means download many
> hundreds of MB per month (vs. Stable which might require 50-100 MB).

That is correct.  It's a rolling distribution.

Of course, if you keep a sparse installation, e.g., by removing junk
you don't care about at the end of bulk-installing Sidux, then you will 
cut way back on recurring downloads in consequence of version churn.

> With my friends' sidux computer they never got it together to upgrade
> it. I would try to upgrade it when I visited but there was so much to
> be downloaded that it would never finish a "apt-get dist-upgrade -d"
> with their limited bandwidth by the time my spouse wanted go home (I'd
> installed every game I could find for the kid, so the / partition is
> huge). 

Well, _that_ was one big mistake, right there.  It's a rolling
distribution:  Installing a huge amount of software means you're going
to subsequently get massive amounts of package churn.  Don't Do That,

 I finally had to take the machine home to upgrade it.  Since
> it hadn't been upgraded for 2 years the DU didn't go smoothly....

*boggle*  Two _years_?  Sorry, you can't expect that to be smooth.

More information about the conspire mailing list