Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Questions about applications and software
Forum rules
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
Rehdon
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:18 am

Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by Rehdon »

Hi all,
I finally got the time to install LM 17 Cinnamon on my main box and I'm generally happy with it, except when it comes to package handling tools: initially I thought there was a problem with Synaptic because it insisted in wanting to remove packages that could be updated when I clicked on them, after a little research I found out that this is intended behavior and not a bug. Removing this functionality from Synaptic is wrong on many levels:

- first of all, since the change goes totally against the expected behavior of the software, previous users are confused by this choice: googling around I found quite a number of "OMG my system is broken, can't update packages!" posts;

- forcing Synaptic to *remove* packages, with no explanation whatsoever, strikes me as the worst possible choice wrt the user;

- finally, Synaptic is not a part of Cinnamon, or Mate, or Linux Mint as a distro: it's a general purpose tool very popular on most distros, if you change its behavior in such a radical way you're going to introduce an inconsistency with other distros, and with people using more than one distro; I don't think this is the right thing to do, if the LM devs think that Synaptic is not fit for the job, just do not include it in LM and let people who install it nonetheless have it behave the standard way.

In conclusion: please give us back the good old Synaptic we all love and use(d) :)

Rehdon

User avatar
nomko
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2986
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:28 pm
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by nomko »

problem with Synaptic because it insisted in wanting to remove packages that could be updated when I clicked on them
Let's say you want to remove a certain application, what synaptic does is checking for its dependencies. If found, they will be marked for remov al as weel since the package you want to remove does need them and there aren't any other packages/applications who need those dependencies. And yes, it could happen that you remove a package, which could be a dependency of another package or application, that is marked to be updated. Would that harm or affect you or your system? No, it won't. That package will be updated any way, installed or not.
expected behavior of the software
what were your expectations?
forcing Synaptic to *remove* packages, with no explanation whatsoever
Synaptic always worked that way when you remove a package. Even when you use a terminal command (sudo apt-get remove {packagename}) you won't get any detailed explanation. What do you want Synaptic to say to you? A fully detailed report about why to remove or why not to remove such package??
introduce an inconsistency
The only inconsistency is the user not fully understanding Linux.

Rehdon
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:18 am

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by Rehdon »

nomko wrote: what were your expectations?
Click on package = mark for upgrade. I have to ask: have you ever used Synaptic before?
nomko wrote:Synaptic always worked that way when you remove a package. Even when you use a terminal command (sudo apt-get remove {packagename}) you won't get any detailed explanation. What do you want Synaptic to say to you? A fully detailed report about why to remove or why not to remove such package??
I do not want to remove packages, I want to update them: what part is not clear to you? Have you ever used Synaptic before it was modified for LM 17?
nomko wrote:The only inconsistency is the user not fully understanding Linux.
Your patronising attitude is mildly amusing, considering that you don't seem to understand what the problem is in the first place (or what "Linux" is, in any case).

Rehdon

User avatar
karlchen
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 12262
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Germany

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by karlchen »

Hello, Rehdon.
initially I thought there was a problem with Synaptic because it insisted in wanting to remove packages that could be updated when I clicked on them, after a little research I found out that this is intended behavior and not a bug.
Could you be bothered to explain, link to the place, where you found this?
As far as I know the functionality which Clem took away from Synaptic is "right-click => mark for upgrade".
Yet, I have not experienced a situation where Synaptic suggested to remove packages which instead should be updated.
Can you give an example?

Kind regards,
Karl
Image
Linux Mint 19.2 64-bit Cinnamon, Total Commander 9.22a 64-bit
Haß gleicht einer Krankheit, dem Miserere, wo man vorne herausgibt, was eigentlich hinten wegsollte. (Goethe)

Monsta
Level 10
Level 10
Posts: 3049
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:46 am

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by Monsta »

Rehdon wrote:please give us back the good old Synaptic we all love and use(d)

Code: Select all

apt install synaptic/trusty

altair4
Level 19
Level 19
Posts: 9897
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:27 am

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by altair4 »

Perhaps some screenshots will aid in describing the issue:

This is what happens when you right click an "upgradable" package in Mint13:
Mint13.png
This is what happens in Mint17:
Mint17.png
Please add a [SOLVED] at the end of your original subject header if your question has been answered and solved.

User avatar
eanfrid
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1857
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:49 am
Location: FR

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by eanfrid »

BTW, at least it can be easily "fixed" by going to the main menu to click on "Edit > Unmark all" and then clicking on "Reload package information".

Synaptic is an easy and powerful point-and-click utility but not a very smart one. aptitude is a much better interactive tool, prompting for arisen conflicts and giving you choices to overcome the issues, including cancelling what would be done.
Main desktop: Debian GNU/Linux Jessie 64bit - MATE
(i5 2400@3.7GHz - 16GB DDR3 - HD6770 w/radeon driver - SSD+RAID1)
Safer than Dropbox

User avatar
karlchen
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 12262
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Germany

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by karlchen »

Hi, altair4.

Thanks to your screenshots I see, we are in fact talking about the disabled "mark for installation" options in Synaptic Mint 17. And I see why Rehdon thinks Synaptic wants to force a removal. "Mark for removal" is the only action which can still be selected. It never occurred to me someone might interpret the only left option as being mandatory. - No, you do not have to remove the updatable packages. Don't do it.

OK. We discussed that before. And I guess I was neither the first one, nor the only one who stated that crippling Synaptic was not the smartest idea ever. [1]

Simply replacing Synaptic Mint 17 by genuine Ubuntu Synaptic will not work smoothly, because dependencies are such that trying to revert to genuine Ubuntu Synaptic is going to mark large parts of Mint for removal. I tried and stopped when I realized so.

My point of view is this:
In the beginning of Cinnamon, every Gnome module which had to be modified for Cinnamon was forked under a new name. So the genuine module was not touched. No avoidable conflicts between Gnome3 and Cinnamon.
In the course of the recent Mint versions, starting with 15? 16, definitely 17, the Mint makers have duplicated a growing number of genuine Ubuntu software packages in the category upstream and either locked them at a version different from the one you will find in Ubuntu or they have changed their functionality. So de-facto forks have been created without giving them new non-conflicting names.
Now we are in a plight, because there are software packages which have got the same names in genuine Ubuntu and Linux Mint, but which have got different functionality and/or different versions.
Creating a growing Gordian Knot of incompatibilities between genuine Ubuntu and Linux Mint is not very smart and not very user friendly. And I fail to see any good reason to do so.

Kind regards,
Karl
Image
Linux Mint 19.2 64-bit Cinnamon, Total Commander 9.22a 64-bit
Haß gleicht einer Krankheit, dem Miserere, wo man vorne herausgibt, was eigentlich hinten wegsollte. (Goethe)

User avatar
nomko
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2986
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:28 pm
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by nomko »

Rehdon wrote:have you ever used Synaptic before?
Rehdon wrote:Have you ever used Synaptic before it was modified for LM 17?
yes i use synaptic and never had any issues with it!
But i'm also a terminal user.
Rehdon wrote:Your patronising attitude
Grow up!

Rehdon
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:18 am

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by Rehdon »

karlchen wrote:Hello, Rehdon.
initially I thought there was a problem with Synaptic because it insisted in wanting to remove packages that could be updated when I clicked on them, after a little research I found out that this is intended behavior and not a bug.
Could you be bothered to explain, link to the place, where you found this?
As far as I know the functionality which Clem took away from Synaptic is "right-click => mark for upgrade".
Yet, I have not experienced a situation where Synaptic suggested to remove packages which instead should be updated.
Can you give an example?
Hi there,
if you choose the "Icon status click chooses the most reasonable action" option in Synaptic preferences then a simple click is enough.

Rehdon

Rehdon
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:18 am

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by Rehdon »

Hello
karlchen wrote:Hi, altair4.

Thanks to your screenshots I see, we are in fact talking about the disabled "mark for installation" options in Synaptic Mint 17. And I see why Rehdon thinks Synaptic wants to force a removal. "Mark for removal" is the only action which can still be selected. It never occurred to me someone might interpret the only left option as being mandatory. - No, you do not have to remove the updatable packages. Don't do it.
No worries, I never even considered removing them :)
karlchen wrote:OK. We discussed that before. And I guess I was neither the first one, nor the only one who stated that crippling Synaptic was not the smartest idea ever.

Simply replacing Synaptic Mint 17 by genuine Ubuntu Synaptic will not work smoothly, because dependencies are such that trying to revert to genuine Ubuntu Synaptic is going to mark large parts of Mint for removal. I tried and stopped when I realized so.

My point of view is this:
In the beginning of Cinnamon, every Gnome module which had to be modified for Cinnamon was forked under a new name. So the genuine module was not touched. No avoidable conflicts between Gnome3 and Cinnamon.
In the course of the recent Mint versions, starting with 15? 16, definitely 17, the Mint makers have duplicated a growing number of genuine Ubuntu software packages in the category upstream and either locked them at a version different from the one you will find in Ubuntu or they have changed their functionality. So de-facto forks have been created without giving them new non-conflicting names.
Now we are in a plight, because there are software packages which have got the same names in genuine Ubuntu and Linux Mint, but which have got different functionality and/or different versions.
Creating a growing Gordian Knot of incompatibilities between genuine Ubuntu and Linux Mint is not very smart and not very user friendly. And I fail to see any good reason to do so.
I couldn't agree more. And I can only add that this is the first time that I feel that Linux Mint is doing something against the user's interest ... even if they are actually thinking the contrary. But when you start buying into the "I know what's best for my user" mentality plaguing that other Desktop Environment, this is how you end up: crippling software in the name of the user's best interests.

Hope Clem will reconsider this course of action.

Rehdon

Rehdon
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:18 am

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by Rehdon »

Monsta wrote:
Rehdon wrote:please give us back the good old Synaptic we all love and use(d)

Code: Select all

apt install synaptic/trusty
Are you sure this is going to work? See karlchen's post.

Rehdon

Monsta
Level 10
Level 10
Posts: 3049
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:46 am

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by Monsta »

karlchen wrote:Simply replacing Synaptic Mint 17 by genuine Ubuntu Synaptic will not work smoothly, because dependencies are such that trying to revert to genuine Ubuntu Synaptic is going to mark large parts of Mint for removal.
I think the exact message from apt-get is needed here.

GeneC
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1599
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:59 pm
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by GeneC »

Its not Synaptic, as such. (EDIT- this is wrong > see below)
Its a Mint issue.
[.....]
It appears to be Mint forcing you to use UpdateManager for upgrades (and the associated 'safety levels') not available in Synaptic.

==============

EDIT:
Correction on the above.

...... Mint has its own Synaptic now. The fix is as Monsta suggests and downgrading to 0.81.1.trusty
PS. NO dependency issues..!
You'd have to 'lock' this version so Mint does not update it with its own.
Worked for me.

Code: Select all

gene@mint ~ $ apt-cache policy synaptic
synaptic:
  Installed: 0.81.1
  Candidate: 0.81.2-4
  Version table:
     0.81.2-4 0
        700 http://packages.linuxmint.com/ qiana/upstream amd64 Packages
     0.81.1ubuntu1 0
        500 http://ubuntu.osuosl.org/ubuntu/ trusty-updates/universe amd64 Packages
 *** 0.81.1 0
        500 http://ubuntu.osuosl.org/ubuntu/ trusty/universe amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
Image
Last edited by GeneC on Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
karlchen
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 12262
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Germany

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by karlchen »

Hello, Monsta.
karlchen wrote:Simply replacing Synaptic Mint 17 by genuine Ubuntu Synaptic will not work smoothly, because dependencies are such that trying to revert to genuine Ubuntu Synaptic is going to mark large parts of Mint for removal.
Monsta wrote:I think the exact message from apt-get is needed here.
I guess it will not be required any longer.
When I tried this time using Synaptic 0.81.2-4 to force downgrade itself to 0.81.1 (ubuntu-updates), it suggested to downgrade exactly one single software package, nothing else. So downgrading to the genuine Ubuntu version would be possible.
(I will not speculate on what may have been different a few weeks ago when I first performed this check, for the simple reason that I can no longer reproduce the past system state.)

Conclusion:
Switching from Synaptic 0.81.2-4 (Mint version) to 0.81.1 (Trusty version) is feasible. - GeneC had already confirmed so.

Hello, Rehdon.

Would this be an acceptable workaround / solution: getting back a fully functional Synaptic by downgrading from Synaptic 0.81.2-4 (Mint version) to Synaptic 0.81.1 (Ubuntu-update version)?

Kind regards,
Karl
--
P.S.:
I remember that when I first tried to replace Synaptic 0.81.2-2 or maybe 0.81.2-3 by Synaptic 0.81.1 (Trusty) that the Ubuntu Synaptic wanted to pull in software-properties-gtk and that it was software-properties-gtk which was in conflict with mintsources. So accepting software-properties-gtk was what started the cascade of mint modules which would be broken and therefore uninstalled.
Image
Linux Mint 19.2 64-bit Cinnamon, Total Commander 9.22a 64-bit
Haß gleicht einer Krankheit, dem Miserere, wo man vorne herausgibt, was eigentlich hinten wegsollte. (Goethe)

Rehdon
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:18 am

Re: Synaptic is broken, please fix it

Post by Rehdon »

Hello again :)
karlchen wrote:
Conclusion:
Switching from Synaptic 0.81.2-4 (Mint version) to 0.81.1 (Trusty version) is feasible. - GeneC had already confirmed so.

Hello, Rehdon.

Would this be an acceptable workaround / solution: getting back a fully functional Synaptic by downgrading from Synaptic 0.81.2-4 (Mint version) to Synaptic 0.81.1 (Ubuntu-update version)?
I guess it is, and thank you for looking into this. I would also hope that this will be reconsidered by Clem, perhaps I should open an issue?

Rehdon

Post Reply

Return to “Software & Applications”