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Re: Goodbye, /lib/*

Eric S. Raymond wrote:

After thirteen years as a loyal Red Hat and Fedora user, I reached my
limit today, when an attempt to upgrade one (1) package pitched me
into a four-hour marathon of dependency chasing, at the end of which
an attempt to get around a trivial file conflict rendered my system unusable.

The proximate causes of this failure were (1) incompetent repository
maintenance, making any nontrivial upgrade certain to founder on a
failed dependency, and (2) the fact that rpm is not statically linked
-- so it's possible to inadvertently remove a shared library it
depends on and be unrecoverably screwed.  But the underlying problems
run much deeper.

If I understood this, you deleted something down /lib that rpm depended on. That's not unrecoverably screwed: you can boot into the rescue CD and bring over the libs or the rpm the libs came from and use rpm2cpio. I have done this in the past, and recovered from it, and my assessment of the proximate cause of the failure was that 1) I was a careless idiot.

RPM being monolithic would help in that situation, but then it's open to you to delete rpm if you're up for deleting shared libs. Likewise Ubuntu is going to have things that can be deleted that will render it equally "unrecoverable". Basically there isn't much to be done to protect a tired or stupid admin using rm as root on important files: but the recovery boot is there to get you out of even very bad trouble.

I don't think we should entirely absolve the wielder of the rm machete from blame even if he didn't ask to be swinging it about.


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