[sf-lug] external usb hard drive

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Mar 14 22:23:32 PDT 2008

Quoting Tyler Trafford (ttrafford at gmail.com):

> Ah, right.  Okay.
> Doing this would help that though:
> aptitude install module-assistant
> m-a prepare
> aptitude -t etch-backports install fuse-source
> m-a a-i fuse
> Right?

Hey, cool.  I'd actually never heard of module-assist before, so I've
just learned something.  (For others curious about it, here's an example
of using it to create and install a Debianised version of ndiswrapper:
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?t=17719 )

Anyway, my reading of the link from debianhelp.org was that "etch's" 
2.6.18 kernel is just too klunky in the kernel code that supports FUSE
for any of the backports.org suggestions to give _good_ results, though
I believe I saw someone opine that ntfs-3g and similar FUSE-based
drivers might _sort of_ work.  That is, to have everything really work
as intended, you'd need to _not only_ build a package from fuse-source, 
and get the ntfs-3g package from backports, but _also_ would need to
somehow find or build a 2.6.21 or later kernel.

So, unless someone can find a 2.6.21 or later binary kernel .deb that 
has no dependencies problematic in "etch", I think you're back to my 
general comment:  Stick with Debian-stable if you insist on having
100% boringly ultra-stable everything, but please understand that you
will not and cannot within reason have cutting-edge anything.  You can
have one or the other but not both.

Just in case Alex would like to try the solution *I* would use, here's
an /etc/apt/sources.list that would give you access to both testing and
unstable packages:

deb ftp://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
deb ftp://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main non-free contrib
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src ftp://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main non-free contrib

Here is a stanza for /etc/apt/preferences, to go with that, that
deprecates all packages from the "unstable" branch, so they're never
fetched by default:

Package: *
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 50

If you ever are in a situation where you're thinking "Man, I really want
to fetch the version of package 'foo' that's from the unstable branch", 
you'd do:

#  apt-get  -t unstable  install foo

That causes package foo and any packages required to satisfy its
dependencies to be fetched from "unstable", while not touching the rest
of the system.  (Experts tell me that the above is a bass-ackwards way
of using apt-get's "pinning" mechanism, but it works.)

To get there, _before_ changing /etc/apt/sources.list from its current 
reference to either "etch" or "stable", do:

#  apt-get update
#  apt-get dist-upgrade

_Then_, change the /etc/apt/sources.list contents.  Get new catalogues:

#  apt-get update

Then, update the most crucial packages _first_:

#  apt-get install perl libc6 dpkg apt apt-utils debconf

Last, update the rest:

#  apt-get dist-upgrade

Back when *I* did that, I told myself, "Well, if I hate this, I can
always just re-install Debian-stable."  But I never did.

(Please note that I use apt-get by preference where you use aptitude.
And yes, I am aware that the Debian poo-bahs now deprecate the former in
favour of the latter.  I find aptitude to be much slower and
RAM-grabbing, an annoying default to install "Suggests:" packages by 
default, and also to have slightly less intelligent heuristics for
resolving dependencies.  Anyway, my actual point is:  Use either apt-get
or aptitude but not both.  They keep slightly different and incompatible
internal records.)

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