Subject: Re: pkg_install versions and when it's needed?
To: Dieter Baron <>
From: Greg Troxel <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 08/10/2007 09:35:17
Dieter Baron <> writes:

First, let me say that I'm trying to help someone straighten out a
netbsd system (nebsd-3) with pkgsrc who is remote.  So I'm really
raising usability concerns on behalf of a non-expert user.

> In article <> Greg wrote:
> : I have a -current system, built on July 17.
> : I updated pkgsrc, and it was happy to install packages without demanding
> : a new pkg_install, even though the version in current is now out of
> : date.
>   What exactly do you mean by ``out of date''?  That there is a newer
> version in pkgsrc?  Or that the pkgsrc infrastructure requires a
> newer version?

Sure, I realize the difference.  There's a subtlety, though, which is
upgrading past bad versions.

> : With all the churn in pkg_install lately, I'm concerned that the 'new
> : enough' logic may leave people in a bad state (I'm helping someone over
> : the phone who's losing because of this, but I'm not sure exactly how).
>   Please find out what is going wrong and where the fault lies.  It's
> hard to fix such a vague problem.

There are two separate kinds of problems:

1) code in pkgsrc's pkg_install is wrong, and when used doesn't work
(e.g., see 'make replace broken' threads recently).  I realize that bugs
happen b - I introduce them myself - and I'm not complaining about this.
They're being fixed promptly, and that's life on HEAD.

2) Sometimes pkgsrc says a newer version is needed.  This can happen on
older systems (nebsd-3 from 3.0, I think).  Then pkg_install is
installed from pkgsrc.  If this is a bad version (meaning one that
doesn't work right), and then one cvs updates, pkgsrc won't
automatically install the newer pkg_install because the old one has a
recent enough version compared to what's required.

So, I am wondering if the logic for pkg_install should be

1) if pkg_install is only in base system, and is older than X, force
install from pkgsrc (we already have this in effect)

2) if pkg_install is from pkgsrc, and it's old, force an update.

> : Or should people revert to what's in netbsd-3, netbsd-4, or current?
>   If the version in pkgtools/pkg_install is broken, it should be fixed
> or reverted there.

But that doesn't by itself restore people's systems to a working state.

I will advise the person to forcibly delete pkg_install that's via
pkgsrc, thereby reverting to a recent netbsd-3 build.