[ previous ] [ Contents ]

Release Notes for Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 (Slink) - Chapter 4
Details Concerning Slink

4.1 The Great X Reorganization

This section was prepared by Branden Robinson branden@debian.org.

The Great X Reorganization happened at version, which was a Debian 2.1 ("slink") release.

xbase used to be a catch-all package, containing all kinds of miscellaneous data, programs, and documentation. That is no longer the case. Its contents have been redistributed among other packages, and in many cases, completely new packages have been created.

New packages were created for a variety of reasons:

  1. In some cases, there were undeclared dependencies on other programs. For instance, the rstart and rstartd programs depend on rsh.
  2. There are several programs which are daemons and should be split out for easier management. This includes xdm and xfs. Since these programs are now in their own packages, they no longer need to refer to /etc/X11/config to determine whether they should run or not.
  3. Some of the X clients provided in the former xbase package, like twm, xmh, and xterm, have very popular replacements, and may just be a waste of disk space for some people. (It's worth keeping in mind that all of the X source code, even the libraries, was originally intended to be only a "sample implementation" of various standards.)
  4. It is desirable to have a common foundation for both systems designed to be X terminals (which run all their X clients from a remote machine) and for application servers which may not need to run X servers on their own display hardware. That is the purpose of the new xfree86-common package. It also simplifies the task of dealing with any large changes in the X directory name space that may arise in the future (e.g., X11R7, or simply putting all of X in /usr).

The new packages in the Debian XFree86 distribution are rstart, rstartd, twm, xbase-clients, xdm, xfree86-common, xfs, xmh, xproxy, xserver-common, xsm, and xterm. Some files from the old xbase package were also placed in xlib6g (XKB and locale data) and xlib6g-dev (development tools).

xbase is now an effectively empty package that exists only to have the package management system automatically "pull in" the new packages (and the latest versions of the X libraries). Once it has been upgraded, it may be safely removed.

Furthermore, the X font and static library packages have been renamed (see Renamed Packages, Section 4.2 below). We believe the new names are less cryptic. Note, however, that the old packages may not necessarily be automatically upgraded to the new versions. This is because their names have changed, and as yet there is no easy way to tell the packaging system that a package has changed its name. However, there are no serious consequences of leaving the old X fonts and static libraries around. The contents of these packages have not changed. The X font server, for instance, formerly in xbase but now in its own package, works just as well with xfntbase as with xfonts-base.

Still, it is advisable to install the renamed versions of these packages as soon as is convenient, in the event that their contents do change in the future.

In summary, there are four important points to note:

  1. After upgrading, the xbase package should be removed. Leaving it in place will make it necessary to supply the --force-depends option to dpkg to remove any package that xbase depends on (such as xdm or xfs).
         dpkg --remove xbase
  2. The xdm and xfs daemons will automatically start on boot; since xdm defaults to managing a local X server, this can be somewhat surprising to people who did not use xdm before. If you do not wish these programs to run at all, remove the packages before your next reboot.
         dpkg --remove xdm
         dpkg --remove xfs
  3. The /etc/X11/config file is no longer used by the X packages and may be removed if you have not customized any other programs or configuration files to use it. Note especially that this file no longer has anything to do with whether xdm and xfs are stopped or started. The flags previously in this file have been distributed among other configuration files. After the upgrade is complete, the following manual pages will get you up to speed.
         man Xsession.options
         man xdm.options
         man xfs.options
  4. The following commands can be used to upgrade to the new X font and static library packages. Note that most people will only need the first four listed packages; if you require any of the others, you will probably know it. Multiple package names can be listed after the --install option to speed things up. To use these commands as is, you will need to be in a directory that contains the appropriate package files.
         dpkg --install xfonts-base_3.3.2.3a-11.deb
         dpkg --install xfonts-75dpi_3.3.2.3a-11.deb
         dpkg --install xfonts-100dpi_3.3.2.3a-11.deb
         dpkg --install xfonts-scalable_3.3.2.3a-11.deb
         dpkg --install xfonts-cjk_3.3.2.3a-11.deb
         dpkg --install xfonts-cyrillic_3.3.2.3a-11.deb
         dpkg --install xfonts-pex_3.3.2.3a-11.deb
         dpkg --install xlib6-static_3.3.2.3a-11.deb
         dpkg --install xlib6g-static_3.3.2.3a-11.deb

4.2 Renamed Packages

NOTE: There is some overlap between this section and The Great X Reorganization, Section 4.1.

The following packages have been renamed as shown. In most, if not all, cases, Conflicts:, Depends:, and Provides: have been provided so the new package will be installed automatically to replace the old one.

     libc6-doc   -> glibc-doc
     xfntbase    -> xfonts-base
     xfnt75      -> xfonts-75dpi
     xfnt100     -> xfonts-100dpi
     xfntbig     -> xfonts-cjk
     xfntcyr     -> xfonts-cyrllic
     xfntpex     -> xfonts-pex
     xfntscl     -> xfonts-scalable
     xslib       -> xlib6-static
     xslibg      -> xlib6g-static

4.3 Split Packages

NOTE: There is some overlap between this section and The Great X Reorganization, Section 4.1.

Between 2.0 (hamm) and 2.1 (slink), a number of packages have been split into two or more packages. The reason for these splits, in general, is that the original package provided a diverse set of functionalities, and that few, if any, users used all of these components. Some packages display a notice warning of the split during the installation, some mention it in the package description, and some ignore it.

If you find that a familiar package is lacking some or all of its functionality, check the list below to see if you need to install more packages to restore the original functionality. Failing that, check the changelog for the package, which can be found in /usr/doc/package/changelog.Debian.gz.

The following is a list of packages that have been split (this list may not be complete):

     graphics/ivtools-bin_0.6.2-4.deb split into 2 packages:
     mail/imap_4.2-1.deb split into 2 packages:
     misc/plan_1.6.1-7.deb split into 2 packages:
     net/netstd_3.07-2.deb split into 10 packages:
     news/slrn_0.9.4.3-4.deb split into 2 packages:
     utils/nosql_0.9-0.deb split into 2 packages:
     web/apache_1.3.0-2.deb split into 2 packages:
     web/php3_3.0-2.deb split into 2 packages:
     x11/wmaker_0.14.1-7.deb split into 2 packages:
     x11/xbase_3.3.2.3-2.deb split into 16 packages:
     x11/xserver-vga16_3.3.2.3-2.deb split into 2 packages:

[ previous ] [ Contents ]
Release Notes for Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 (Slink)
version 2.1.11, 28 August, 1999
Bob Hilliard hilliard@debian.org
Adam Di Carlo