Sunday, April 18, 2010

Arch Linux Update Broke

Update on the system with an old Intel graphics chipset succeeded. The packages needed to use the old intel driver were held back.

Gdm would not start. Manual start of X revealed that it wanted while openssl was now version 1.0.0.

I decided to experiment with the current intel graphics driver. It was much better but the system still froze twice in a day. Hence, I decided to go back to the previous intel driver.

Downgrading openssl would have affected many more packages. Hence, the idea was to install the older libcrypto libraries as well.

But before doing that, I decided to create a softlink to the current version of libcrypto. As far I could tell from the documentation, some new calls had been added. The old interfaces were unchanged. As I suspected, X came up and the updated system has been working fine now.

This again brings up the issue of how to package the libraries. A package should be able to use a more recent version if it is compatible or allow an older version to be installed in addition to the newer version. Current distributions are just not using the power and flexibility of the shared libraries in Linux.

To the extent possible, a 'normal' user should not have to worry about shared libraries and their versions.

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