[clug] A desperate cry for the clue bat

Andrew Pollock andrew-clug at andrew.net.au
Thu Oct 9 10:52:03 EST 2003

Hi Robert,

Downgrading with Debian is possible, but not recommended, because it is 
somewhat fraught with danger. In a nutshell, try doing this:

Put in /etc/apt/preferences:

Package: *
Pin: release a=stable
Pin-Priority: 1001

and then try an apt-get --simulate dist-upgrade and see what sort of a
mess it makes.

If you're comfortable with what it is going to do to your system, run 
apt-get dist-upgrade. This doesn't downgrade absolutely everything I've 
found from experience, but gets the bulk of the system downgraded. 
(Naturally, remove the above entries in /etc/apt/preferences afterwards).

Alternatively, if you know the version of the packages you want, you can
try visiting snapshot.debian.net, (I've never actually gotten around to
using it in my sources.list file, just manually downloaded the .debs I
wanted) and acquire the relevant versions there and manually install them 
with dpkg. dpkg is quite happy to downgrade individual packages, provided 
you meet the dependencies. YMMV depending on the actual packages involved.

The other option is to file a bug against the package and wait until the 
problem is resolved, as you're probably not the only person affected. Or 
check the bugs already filed against the package, or check unstable to see 
if it's already been fixed there and just hasn't made it into testing yet.

Hope all of this is of some help to you.



On Wed, Oct 08, 2003 at 01:12:17PM +1000, Bolin, Robert wrote:
> Hi all,
> I never thought I'd have to ask for this kind of help, but here goes: I need
> to be hit by the "Big Clue Bat" as to how to either roll back a debian
> upgrade (plus my attempts at fixing a problem with the X-server) or a way of
> installing a working version of debian stable or testing (with a working
> X-server) over the top of my current setup.
> Situation: I have been running Debian testing for a while now and everything
> was going fine, until recently. It seems that in the last "apt-get upgrade"
> the xserver was upgraded from 4.1 to 4.2, however the SiS driver that I've
> found for my SiS630 chipset won't work for some reason. Once I found this
> out I decided to try to downgrade back to the version I thought I needed,
> which, due to the miracles of the apt-get system, uninstalled a series of
> other applications - at this point in time I started progressing into a
> downward spiral that seems to be getting worse. I have also installed from
> source a number of other applications, languages and bits and pieces that I
> needed for Uni, so I'd prefer not to go the windoze route and do a clean
> install.
> I've tried RTFM but that doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere. Is there
> any help?
> Rob
> (Word to the wise: Avoid SiS chipsets like the plague - I've come to the
> realisation that under Linux, they are more trouble than they are worth...)
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