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Impending Upgrades

Here’s another fun little tidbit – today I tried to use OpenOffice.org Writer seriously for the first time, and realized rather quickly that I was running version 2.1 of same. For those who don’t already know, OpenOffice.org was close on unusable prior to version 3.x. While it has since matured into a very capable suite of programs, the first few versions were just awful. In particular, I couldn’t get the formatting correct on a numbered list with bullet-ted sub-points.

A quick apt-get -t lenny-backports install openoffice.org did the trick, and removed my system-wide dictionary as a bonus. Now both Icedove (Thunderbird) and Pidgin claim that everything that I type is spelled incorrectly. A quick check with Synaptic confirmed that the aspell package had mysteriously disappeared from my system; when I tried to mark it for re-installation, Synaptic refused, claiming that it aspell depended on a package called dictionaries-common, which wasn’t going to be installed for some unspecified reason. Christ.

Figuring that it was a version issue (since the only thing that has changed on my system is my version of OpenOffice.org), I tried apt-get -t lenny-backports install aspell. It worked, and also warned me that my OpenOffice.org upgrade had left about 25 packages lying about that ought to be removed:

bluez-gnome, libmtp7, python-notify, obex-data-server, libgda3-common, python-gnome2-extras, evolution-exchange, rhythmbox, system-config-printer,
libgpod3, gnome-themes-extras, bluez-utils, python-eggtrayicon, openoffice.org-style-andromeda, libxalan2-java, python-4suite-xml, libgda3-3,
transmission-common, libgdl-1-0, libxalan2-java-gcj, serpentine, transmission-gtk, libgdl-1-common, gnome-vfs-obexftp

The strange thing is that some of those packages look like they might be required by software other than OpenOffice.org. You know, like Evolution, or maybe Transmission? What the hell is going on here? I’m upgrading to the Testing repositories as soon as I get the chance. Hopefully that will solve some of my old-ass-software issues.

  1. December 9th, 2010 at 14:02 | #1

    Hi, did U solve this problem? apt-get wants to remove gnome by installing openoffice.org which sounds similar to your problem.

  2. Jon F
    December 9th, 2010 at 14:26 | #2

    @Christopher – Whatever you do, don’t remove the packages that apt-get says that you should. Check out this post from December of 2009 for details of what might happen if you do:

  3. December 9th, 2010 at 14:41 | #3

    Yes, i don’t do that, because I am using gnome 😉

  4. Jon F
    December 9th, 2010 at 15:26 | #4

    @Christopher – So what’s your question then? I don’t honestly know why apt-get marks things as ‘unnecessary’ like that. I’ve seen this behaviour all Debian variants that I’ve used, including every member of the Ubunutu family and now I just ignore it.

  5. December 10th, 2010 at 07:59 | #5

    Ah. My question was about telling apt that I need the software it wants to uninstall, but well since you are just ignoring that… 😉

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