[sf-lug] jim unsatisfied with apt-get and adobe flash and other things

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Nov 24 18:16:28 PST 2008

Quoting jim (jim at well.com):

Catching up on earlier postings....

["added", below, refers to /etc/apt/source.list:

> * note i've added 
> # linux.csua.berkeley.edu 
> * to the very bottom of the file 

Uh-oh.  Just "linux.csua.berkeley.edu" is _not_ a valid sources.list
line, for reasons that I hope should now be apparent.

> * here's what happened before i put the comment delimiter 
> * at the head of that line 
> * Synaptic Package Manager reports An error occured: 
> E: Type 'linux.csua.berkeley.edu' is not known on line 61 in source
> list /etc/apt/sources.list
> E: The list of sources could not be read.
> Go to the repository dialog to correct the problem.
> E: _cache->open() failed, please report.
> * what is a "repository dialog" and how to go to it? 

Presumably, that's part of Synaptic where you can use a graphical
front-end to edit the contents of /etc/apt/sources.list .

Synaptic, to quote Mr. Lincoln, is "the sort of thing that will be
enjoyed by those who enjoy that sort of thing".  I'm not able (or
particularly willing) to help people with Synaptic particulars for the
simple reason that I don't use it.

Or, as the French say (presumably after an evening of rich food),
everyone has his or her own gout.

On the named Web host at Berkeley, I find things like 


So, if you wanted to add those four "hardy" collections in
binary-package format only, and are on i386 arch, you could say:

deb http://linux.csua.berkeley.edu/ubuntu/ hardy main multiverse restricted universe

> *    also in (greater) dispair i tried to install "flash" 
> * from the adobe website: 


Should be, FYI, an absolute last resort.  Pretty much every distro has
a package that, when installed, _fetches_ the Adobe proprietary Flash
interpreter and installs it in a distro-appropriate manner.  (In other
words, it's a wrapper for installation purposes.  Using it ensures that 
the installation follows distro policies and that your package subsystem
knows that the software's there.)  Never, ever, ever trust Adobe to know
what's good for a Linux distribution, even where they profess to have a
binary package tailored for distribution [foo].

They don't get these things right, they don't really care enough to
actually try, they have no incentive to obey distribution policies, and
there's no reason on Earth you should trust them more than you have to.

You'll find plenty of Web pages that explain that you should just go to
Adobe's site and download (blah blah blah).  They're all giving bad
advice -- except as a last resort.

I'm unclear on whether Ubuntu's wrapper package is "flashplugin-nonfree"
or "adobe-flashplugin".  Inquire.  ;->  For all I know, the second name
might have obsoleted, i.e., replaced the first one.  That would be my
guess.  Personally, I consider Adobe's code to be horrifically buggy and
a security menace, and do my best to have nothing to do with it.  If
obliged to install that creeping horror anyway, for Heaven's sake put in
NoScript (http://noscript.net/features) so you can determine when/if it

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