[lug] Weird glibc upgrade problem

Michael J. Pedersen marvin at keepthetouch.org
Wed Mar 21 13:28:10 MST 2001

On Wed, Mar 21, 2001 at 01:11:18PM -0700, Justin wrote:
> Has anyone else come across this nonsense? At first I thought I just 
> messed something up somewhere along the line. Until today when my 
> friend ran into the same thing, but with a different package manager, 
> same packages. I don't understand how trying to remove glibc could 
> result in such a disaster as this. Anyone thoughts?

To a degree, I'm going to sound harsh, but it's unintentional. Please don't
take it personally.

Short answer: You could have made a bigger mistake in your processes, but I'm
not sure how. To give you a rough idea of how bad the error was, I'm going to
use Windows land examples. Imagine if MS actually provided an upgrade to
kernel32.dll, and ONLY this dll. Now, if you were to try and install it, you
wouldn't remove the current one under Windows, and then copy the new one in.
You'd do it outside of Windows. Otherwise, your entire system would crash, and
you would be completely unable to even start Windows.

Effectively, this is what you did to Linux. glibc is used by every single
application on the system, from the littlest ls up to the biggest gnome app.
Unless your application was statically linked, you've just them all down. And
most apps are not statically linked, unless specifically compiled that way.

Proper steps are to use the upgrade options (-U under RH and KRUD), not to
remove then install. That's the only safe way to upgrade a package as major as

Michael J. Pedersen
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