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After the issues that happened with Linus from Linus Tech Tips breaking Pop!_OS during the switch to Linux challenge, the APT package manager has been upgraded to prevent future issues happening.

We covered the problem in our previous article, where System76 were going to apply their own fix to prevent a dialogue appearing that allowed users to end up removing essential packages. At the same time, System76 were also talking with the APT team to get an official fix and one has now been created and released with APT 2.3.12.

The issue shouldn't have come up often, and was the result of the Steam package breaking, with APT in terminal mentioning lots of different things that could easily confuse users. To continue you needed to enter "Yes, do as I say!" to progress, which you should probably never do since the warning was there for a reason - essential packages being removed.


Picture Source: YouTube - oh dear.

Now, that option has been removed and APT will no longer have its solver attempt to remove essential or protected packages, so any dependency problem needs to be resolved manually. As a result your package won't install, remove or upgrade if there's conflicts but at least you have an actual working system. It can be overridden still but it won't tell you explicitly how to do so in the error messaging to prevent people just doing it anyway again.

Looks like Pop!_OS is already readying to bring in the changes. It's likely other distributions using APT will follow during their regular update patterns.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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AussieEevee 18 Nov, 2021
Quoting: mirvI'll refute your argument: he easily saw the line saying what to type in, and by your reasoning that was hidden too.

Linus is to blame for ignoring the warnings. They are now making it more difficult to ignore the warnings, but that doesn't change that he decided to ignore them in the first place.
The line telling him what to type was at the bottom. The warning is in the middle of the screen, blending in.

You and I might read everything a program like apt spits out, but you cannot expect that of a normal user. And Linus, while he did know a little, he was essentially a newbie user to our ecosystem.

What I think should be done is that warning line should be a different colour... and separated with a blank line either side of the warning. Draw attention to the "you will break your system" warning.
AussieEevee 18 Nov, 2021
Quoting: slaapliedje2) Linus not being patient enough to read the warning.
Most newbie users aren't that patient, especially when it comes to walls of text.

The point is that apt should not have allowed him to break his system in the first place. That should not have happened, and the fault is 10% on that Steam package... and 90% on apt.
dpanter 18 Nov, 2021
I wrote in the other article comments how I feel about this and just have to say again that this is stupid.

Linus pulled the pin out of a hand grenade despite warnings about dangerous consequences, then stared at it until it exploded... and now we all have to be "protected" against ourselves regardless.
Changing the prompt is irrelevant, making the text more legible is irrelevant, adding more stumbling blocks is - you guessed it - irrelevant. People will always find ways around any barriers in place. If you don't think they will, then I wonder if you have ever even met a human? We are insane.

What will be the next knee-jerk overreaction to his or another Techtuber borking things?
Why not remove sudo because that seems very dangerous! People can do anything! Or maybe delete the root account entirely, that user has too much power! Super dangerous!!

Also, can we please stop with the nonsensical argument that Linus Sebastian can actually represent an average user.

This is stupid.
mrdeathjr 18 Nov, 2021
in my case stay avalaible in updates with xubuntu 22.04 lts

link

mirv 18 Nov, 2021
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Quoting: AussieEevee
Quoting: mirvI'll refute your argument: he easily saw the line saying what to type in, and by your reasoning that was hidden too.

Linus is to blame for ignoring the warnings. They are now making it more difficult to ignore the warnings, but that doesn't change that he decided to ignore them in the first place.
The line telling him what to type was at the bottom. The warning is in the middle of the screen, blending in.

You and I might read everything a program like apt spits out, but you cannot expect that of a normal user. And Linus, while he did know a little, he was essentially a newbie user to our ecosystem.

What I think should be done is that warning line should be a different colour... and separated with a blank line either side of the warning. Draw attention to the "you will break your system" warning.

The warning of potential harm, as I said before and plainly visible in the screenshot, literally the line above saying what to write to continue. It's not in the middle of a wall of text.

Also, the GUI updater wasn't installing Steam. He had to go out of his way to open a command terminal, type everything to run apt directly, and then read the line saying what to type, and then type it in. With visible warnings about potentially harming the system. That he ignored.

So a feature that has been perfectly fine and nobody complained about ever since it was introduced is suddenly bad and awful because some random youtuber had to jump through many hoops to even get that far, ignored warnings of breakage, and still later managed to recover the system anyway....?

Limiting the consequences of people doing stupid things is useful in general for adoptability. That Linus ignored warnings is, again, his own fault and he is entirely to blame for that.
Philadelphus 18 Nov, 2021
Quoting: soulsourceI consider catering to users who intentionally ignore critical warnings a step in the wrong direction.

I'm not trying to be elitist, but seriously, if there's a very clearly worded meessage telling the user that they are going to break their system, it's the user's fault if they type in "do as I say"...
Linus is the only one who can know his intentions. You and I can only guess. An honest mistake can't be ruled out, especially by someone knowledgeable enough in one domain (Windows) to critically overestimate his ability in another.

I'm reminded of Murphy's Law: "If there is a right way and a wrong way to do something, someone will inevitably do it the wrong way." Hence why eletrical sockets the world over have mechanisms to ensure that you can only plug a device in the correct way, rather than backwards which might fry your device or start a fire*. It sounds like you can still "plug things in backwards" with APT if you really want to, it's just removed the label on the plug telling you that's possible, which should stop a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't think to do it.

*And yes I know North American sockets can technically allow plugs to be flipped either way (because for some devices it doesn't matter), but that's both an exception to the rest of the world, and if the device really should be plugged in only one way there are two different physical mechanisms to enforce that. (Making one prong slightly larger, and using the third grounding prong.)
Rooster 18 Nov, 2021
Quoting: AussieEeveebut you cannot expect that of a normal user

I saw quotes like this also in the previous thread on this topic: The normal user can't be expected to.. The regular user won't..

I thought about what the issue here is. If I'm using a CLI, it gives me a "wall of text" and I literally type in "Yes do as I say" without reading the text, then not putting the blame on me as a user is ridiculous isn't it? It should be clear, that this is 100% my fault, no matter what kind of user I am.. So how come so many people are defending this kind of behavior from a user?

And then it hit me. The "normal user" the "average user" should be in fact replaced with "normal Windows user" and "regular Windows user" and suddenly everything makes sense.

I'm on Linux now, so yeah.. Not only I read all Warnings and Errors, I actively look for them in the "wall of text". However, this is not the case when I use Windows. Because Windows encourages and trains its users to not read anything and just click Next, Next, or OK. And I have to admit, when I use Windows, I do this as well, because instead of simply doing the task I clearly asked it to do, Windows first gives you 1-3 windows asking if you really want to do this simple task.

I remember when I was phone navigating my ex, who have been a Windows user for most of her life, to change something in BIOS. During my instructions, a message popped up which I did not expect and she just automatically pressed Enter on it without reading it. In freaking BIOS!


So yeah.. While this isn't the case in this scenario, I don't think we should cater to dumb users, trying to protect the user from himself. Or we will end up training users to not read anything, just automatically press Next Next like on Windows.


Last edited by Rooster on 18 November 2021 at 5:56 pm UTC
slaapliedje 18 Nov, 2021
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Quoting: AussieEevee
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: AussieEevee
Quoting: slaapliedjeHe typed in the 'Yes I know what I'm doing' even though he clearly did not, and nuked Xorg while it was running. Not sure how that is any fault of apt.
He typed "yes, do as I say"... and the warning was hidden in a huge wall of text. It is absolutely apt's fault.

It was quite literally the line above telling him what to type. It wasn't hidden at all.

link

There's a screenshot of the error (From this very site)... It's one line in among a lot of white text that says you shouldn't do this. It is essentially hidden, and Linus is not to blame for this badly designed warning.

"You are about to do something potentially harmful" So that's not a big enough warning? How is that hidden? Right above that it says 194MB will be freed... pretty sure installing new software won't free disk space. All it would have taken him is two seconds to read that he was going to destroy something beautiful... like in Fight Club.
UltraAltesBrot 18 Nov, 2021
Doesn't matter if the mistake was more on Linus or APT. The open software community, especially the APT team, reflected on the issue and reacted. If you think whether the change was necessary or not isn't important: In the end it just shows how flexible and responsive Linux and open source software development can be when issues arise - and that's a great outcome.
Beamboom 18 Nov, 2021
This is just so stupid, I am so totally against this whole idea of declining the super user ANY action.

Linux is modular. To remove a graphical user interface can make PERFECT sense to do. The user might have several interfaces installed and decided to remove the one installed with the distro, or he wants to change the box into a non-gui server, or really whatever reason - let him do it.

The warnings issued in that screenshot should be PLENTY enough. For fucks sake, he were even forced to write a full sentence, after telling in CLEAR text what packages was about to be removed.

If the user can't handle THAT, he should bloody well just return to the land of "ignore-all-warnings", aka Windows.

EDIT: After I wrote this I realised that the packages can still be removed from the system it just needs to be done explicitly. That makes it slightly more acceptable. Still - I don't like that extra layer of "protection" to help people that can't bother reading or don't understand what's written in clear text infront of them.
If they are unable to comprehent text warnings - well then they WILL encounter a similar "crisis" later. Linux is built on the premise of giving the user the power and trust to decide.


Last edited by Beamboom on 19 November 2021 at 11:11 pm UTC
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