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Re: [LUG] dpkg bollocks


On 02/11/13 21:27, Philip Hudson wrote:
> I present for your delectation: how not to update a package. WTF is
> anyone supposed to make of this:
> nvidia-graphics-drivers (310.14-1) unstable; urgency=low
> LEGACY GPUs: If you have a GeForce 6xxx, GeForce Go 6xxx, GeForce
> 7xxx, GeForce Go 7xxx, Quadro NVS 110/120/210/285/440, Quadro FX 
> 350/540/550/560, Quadro FX
> 1400/Go1400/1500/2500/3400/3450/3500/4000/4500/5500, nforce 4xx, 
> nforce 6xx, i.e., any GPU based on the NV40/NV41/NV42/NV43/NV44, 
> C51/C61/C67/C68/C73, or G70/G71/G72/G73 chips or a variant
> thereof, DO NOT INSTALL THIS RELEASE!!! Use the
> nvidia-legacy-304xx-driver, nvidia-legacy-304xx-kernel-dkms 
> packages instead.
> -- Andreas Beckmann <debian@xxxxxxxxxxxx>  Tue, 16 Oct 2012
> 18:00:49 +0200
> Extra points if you understand the bollocks *and* see why it's
> bollocks nevertheless.

Yeah, how on earth is anyone supposed to make any sense of this
concise list of graphics products that are no longer supported in the
nvidia-current driver tree, and then follow explicit instructions not
to install a driver that won't work? OMG it's SO HARD!

Oh no, wait, it's not.

ghost@failbot:~$ lspci | grep -i nvidia
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation G80 [GeForce
8800 GTX] (rev a2)

Wow, one simple command tells me I have a G80, which isn't on the
list, so I can go ahead and install. Jesus christ, that took every
ounce of skill I have acquired as a sysadmin. Thank god I am a

It's not like installing nvidia-legacy-??? has always been the
requirement for support of older Nvidia cards and has been the norm
forever, and incredibly well documented all over the internet. Oh,
actually it is, and always has been.

You see that bit at the top: "unstable; urgency=low"? If you don't
read and parse that as "oh well, I don't actually need to update the
driver for my perfectly working card anyway as the proposed update is
A: unstable and B: low urgency" then you have very serious problems
and should probably step back from the computer.

I propose that the dpkg warning is necessarily terse, very concise and
tells you everything you need to know, complete with a list of card
models and the chipsets they are based on. dpkg will also have paused
at this point, giving you plenty of time to either cancel the action
or read the information, research it, and act on it accordingly.
Anyone who can't deal with this certainly should not be invoking dpkg

Not to defend Nvidia - they are dicks, their drivers often suck and
they randomly retire full support for cards frequently just 'because'.
However, it works exactly the same on Windows where you have to choose
between WDDM, beta and current versions if downloading manually (to
add to the insult, windows update will only get you certified WDDM
drivers which are way out of date and frequently incapable of running
current games - at least the automatic update of Linux package
managers will handle that properly).

So, as per usual, the problem with Debian is the more intellectually
challenged of it's users. Here dpkg has performed it's function
admirably, and if you don't understand what it's telling you at a
single glance, DON'T RUN DPKG. Ask someone who isn't a moron to
explain it to you. Or post it to a LUG mailing list so your peers can
laugh at you, your call.


PS: nice to be back. Had to go to Germany to secure Angela Merkel's
phone and drink beer.

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