Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

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Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby gosa on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:52 pm

Hi all,

I already posted a question about this in the Virtualbox forum, but just to make sure that it's not actually me getting crazy I thought I'd ask if any of you might have noticed the same as me regarding one of the suggested upgrades that (I think) came in yesterday...

The background is that I've chosen to add the Virtualbox repositories to my LMDE install, and since there's no option for tracking Testing I used this line for my sources.list as "suggested" on the download page of Virtualbox:
Code: Select all
deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian squeeze contrib non-free

(felt it was the one "closest" to what we're running since Squeeze is the most recent of the options presented)

The above option have worked well for me for the last couple of months, but now I have a bit of (for me anyway) weird view in my update manager that basically offer me the same package, but somehow Virtualbox wants me to switch from Debian to Ubuntu (or so it appears anyway) which even with my extremely basic knowledge of Linux feels very wrong...

So - I know that I might be a bit on my own playing around with other repositories, but my question to you is if anyone else "out there" is sharing my setup (using the Virtualbox repositories) and has experienced the same thing? Maybe there's even someone who can offer an explanation?
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby DrHu on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:32 pm

I don't know why that is happening, but I would avoid mixing Debian (LMDE) and Ubuntu versions even if they are the same version numbers, to avoid any problems..
Don't accept the mintupdate offer to install the Ubuntu version
http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1543
    –> Yes. Although they both run Linux binaries, shell scripts and .deb packages, they’re not considered compatible. A modern operating system deals with dependencies, and these can be broken by mixing packages from Debian and Ubuntu, potentially resulting in an unusable system. It’s ok to install static DEBs now and then, and they might be the same for Debian and Ubuntu but there’s enough of a gap between the two distributions to consider them incompatible with each others. LMDE users are not encouraged to use PPAs or repositories made for Ubuntu.
--the writer is talking about Ubuntu PPAs' as an example, however mixing sources even from different Debian versions is considered a bad idea
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=568601
What can happen with a hybrid system (not one source tree..)
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby richyrich on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:09 pm

I agree , mixing distros in your software sources is just asking for compatibility / dependency troubles. Sure, it may work as a fix for a program or two, but the active repository itself is the danger, as you see evidence of it's presence and potential danger in the Update Manager yourself.

Your's looks like UbuntuUpdates Super OS Repository for Maverick 10.10 . . you just need to disable or delete it. Easy to do from the Software Sources program.
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby gosa on Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:12 pm

DrHu, Richyrich

Thanks for your replies, and yes I kind of figured as much as I don't want to mix ubuntu/debian. The thing is that I don't understand why I'm eve nbenig offered such a switch when all I have in my sources.list are these:

Code: Select all
deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian upstream import main
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main non-free
deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian squeeze contrib
deb http://debian.tagancha.org/debian/ testing main
deb http://debian.scribus.net/debian/ testing main


richyrich wrote:Your's looks like UbuntuUpdates Super OS Repository for Maverick 10.10 . . you just need to disable or delete it. Easy to do from the Software Sources program.


True, but if I do that I will loose future update notifications, right? For now I thought I'll just untick it and see what happens later on...

BTW - got a reply in Virtualbox forum, and the guy that answered blamed my sources.list
- But I can't really see anything wrong with it? Or am I blind?
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby richyrich on Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:19 pm

Take a look inside the /etc/apt/sources.list.d folder . .
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby gosa on Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:32 am

richyrich wrote:Take a look inside the /etc/apt/sources.list.d folder . .


Ok, I did. And there I have these two files:
dropbox.list
dropbox.list.save

Nothing else...
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby Jaime Frontero on Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:25 am

I've gone ahead and installed the maverick version of VirtualBox on my LMDE, pretty stock, 64-bit box.

Seems to work fine. Sound may have some minor issues, but I don't care about that: it's only for when I absolutely have to have WinXP.
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby gosa on Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:14 am

Jaime Frontero wrote:I've gone ahead and installed the maverick version of VirtualBox on my LMDE, pretty stock, 64-bit box.

Seems to work fine. Sound may have some minor issues, but I don't care about that: it's only for when I absolutely have to have WinXP.


Well.. that is of course one of the options, but since it is about replacing one version number with exactly the same, and replacing in a "non" recommended way (being to maverick) I'm kind of wondering "what's the point"?
- Or rather "If it ain't broken, why fix it?"
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby wangsuda on Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:18 am

Jaime Frontero wrote:I've gone ahead and installed the maverick version of VirtualBox on my LMDE, pretty stock, 64-bit box.


If you need USB access, you may have problems. Even with the extension pack, my VMs would not recognise USB drives. I had to regress to 3.1.2
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby amina on Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:45 am

I installed the new Virtualbox 4.0.4 Squeeze version because the old one stopped to work with the new kernel.
I did not even add the virtualbox repo, just downloaded and installed the Squeeze deb.
I cannot check right now but as I remember I have the default sources list and noticed the same thing (MU wanted to switch to the Ubuntu version of the same VB version).
I just added Virtualbox to the "ignore updates for this package" list and now it does not want to "update" anymore.
But I also found it strange and VB would still be updated if I did an update with Synaptic or via CLI.
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby wangsuda on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:12 am

I installed the new Virtualbox 4.0.4 Squeeze version because the old one stopped to work with the new kernel.
I've had no luck with any version of VB using the new kernel. I rolled back to 2.6.32-5 and then had no problems using VB 3.2.8. Anything above that on ANY kernel gives me headaches.
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby ukbrian on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 am

But I also found it strange and VB would still be updated if I did an update with Synaptic or via CLI.
You need to find it in Synaptic and then click on "Package" and select "Lock version"
You need to pin apps in both MintUpdate and Synaptic.
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby amina on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:01 am

ukbrian wrote:You need to find it in Synaptic and then click on "Package" and select "Lock version"
You need to pin apps in both MintUpdate and Synaptic.


Thank you ukbrian. In fact I know this but I am just lazy to do so :D Most of the time I use MU.
But, this can be misleading for people who do not know this. First time I tried to lock version I did not know I also have to apt-pin if I use the CLI method. But that's another question, sorry for being offtopic.

@wangsuda, what I did was to purge the old VB version and then installed the new one. At first start I had to do a sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup (or something similar the message told me to do). It took quite long but in the end the job was completed and next time VB started just fine, I did not even loose my settings (after a purge I thought I would).
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby wangsuda on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:15 am

At first start I had to do a sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup (or something similar the message told me to do). It took quite long but in the end the job was completed and next time VB started just fine, I did not even loose my settings (after a purge I thought I would).
Hmmmmm . . . I'll have to try that one. And you have 4.0.4 working? Complete with USB support and everything? Because if so, you got farther than I did!
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby ukbrian on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:24 am

First time I tried to lock version I did not know I also have to apt-pin if I use the CLI method. But that's another question, sorry for being offtopic
Never, very informative.
I assumed that if I locked/pinned an app in Synaptic then that applied to a apt-get dist-upgrade, do I need to apt-pin as well?
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby amina on Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:03 am

Complete with USB support and everything?

I never managed to make USB work with the old version either (to be honest, I did not try that hard, I do not really need it :)), so I assume it still does not work out-of-the-box with the new one. But if it did work for you with the previous versions, I think it should with the new one as well.

do I need to apt-pin as well?

In my experience, yes.
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby zerozero on Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:13 pm

gosa, i can at least tell you why your system is trying to install a version of Virtualbox that:
1- looks like the same version;
2- is a maverick pkg;
- the upgrade comes from Mint repos (just check in synaptic the origin tab and you will find 4.0.4~maverick and 3.2.8~lucid);
- any Mint pkg has a higher priority, so it will happen like in this situation: same version number, the mint pkg is selected;

Now, why a lucid and maverick pkg was packaged to LMDE? no idea :shock:
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby gosa on Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:00 am

zerozero wrote:gosa, i can at least tell you why your system is trying to install a version of Virtualbox that:
1- looks like the same version;
2- is a maverick pkg;
- the upgrade comes from Mint repos (just check in synaptic the origin tab and you will find 4.0.4~maverick and 3.2.8~lucid);
- any Mint pkg has a higher priority, so it will happen like in this situation: same version number, the mint pkg is selected;

Now, why a lucid and maverick pkg was packaged to LMDE? no idea :shock:


Ok, that is interesting...

Does that mean that I will still get offers for upgrades from the Virtualbox repos even if I choose to pin/hold back/ignore (or whatever it's called) this one?
Since they come from different repositories? Or is it Virtualbox itself that I prevent from upgrading, no matter from where?
(Or maybe I should report it as a bug somewhere and wait for that to take it's course?)
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby gosa on Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:04 am

Sorry if I come out a bit strong here, but I'm 100% confusion and frustration right now:

I'd like to bump this one, hoping to get a clear answer from someone responsible for Linux Mint/it's repos...

    Everybody says that it's preferrable to install programs from our own repos instead of from the programs own webpages.

    Everybody is saying that Debian is not Ubuntu, and that I should stay away from Ubuntu packages. That one is also very common...

So - Why on earth's name do I still get Virtualbox wich - apparently are related to Ubuntu (Has ~Ubunty~natty in it's name) when I install virtualbox 4 through our Software manager? And on top of that it is - of course - an older version than the one available from Virtualbox's own channels...

And then we have people - sorry for ranting here - that is complaining when you ask for support because the infinite amount of variables that exists when going outside of the "Linux Mint sphere", are too many. I also read somewhere that "using the Virtualbox repos and downloading the "Squeeze" version could lead to problem since Squeeze kind of got left behind quite some months ago?

So - please... can someone tell me where the logic is in all this?
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Re: Weird suggested upgrade for Virtualbox...

Postby acerimusdux on Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:24 pm

1. Understand first, it's all Debian underneath, so some packages certainly will work cross-platform.
2. Understand that when Ubuntu starts making modifications to Debian, those modifications could break some things and make some things incompatible, so you should prefer Ubuntu packages first, if available.
3. Likewise if using Mint based on Ubuntu, you should prefer Mint packages, if available, and then Ubuntu, before considering Debian packages or debs from other sources. If using Debian edition, prefer Mint, then Debian; there isn't an Ubuntu version unless they've changed something, and they are likely changes you don't need.
4. Understand also that Mint is a small distribution, without the manpower to maintain every single package. They are responsible for their own improvements and contributions (the Mint Menu, Mint Upgrader, Mint Installer, Mint tools, etc.), and they can test other packages and include those that are compatible in the repos. But there's no guarantee that every single thing you might want will be available for Mint.

But in this case, you should realize that the package in question is not coming from Mint developers, maintainers, or repositories. You are getting it from VirtualBox.org, so it is coming from someone at Virtual Box, or Oracle. I don't know why they would upload an Ubuntu package to a repository they have set up for debian, but you would have to ask them. It may simply have been a mistake. It may also be this is one of those pacakges which works fine on either, and they just didn't bother renaming it.

As for the confusion of the process generally, I think ideally more of these improvements would be done in a way that was fully compatible with Debian, so that they could work alongside existing packages and not cause breakages. But understand also, that companies like Canonical or Oracle are sometimes naturally a bit less concerned over whether their customers have full compatability with free alternatives. This is not a criticism, both are great companies, and have contributed a lot which we should appreciate. Just remember, when you ask for help at Virtualbox, they really don't have to support Mint at all, much less Debian Edition (which is currently maybe 10% of Mint).

Also, there is a complete "free software" version of VirtualBox available, labeled VirtualBox-OSE (for "open source edition"), but this is one of those cases where you are likely better off going to Oracle (as you have) instead and getting the latest. Just understand the usual tradeoffs there, you are getting newer versions, with more features, but also mistakes and bugs and things that haven't been as fully tested and vetted.
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