Sunday, 19 June 2011

When Upgrades Go Bad

Recently I decided to do a bit of a hardware refresh on my home server. This involved the purchase of an AMD E-350 based motherboard to replace my old Atom D510.

Unfortunately things went slightly awry when I realised that my existing server used a Compact Flash to IDE adaptor and the new board I had bought had no IDE interface.


I ended up having to replace the Compact Flash adapter with a spare SSD that I had lying around and do an entire OS reinstall.

It was then that I struck another problem when I discovered that I couldn't find a 10.04 Server CD anywhere.

So, with my server in pieces and no Internet access I was forced to install Natty 11.04 x64 Desktop to get the thing back up and running.

It was my intention to convert this desktop install to something resembling a server install by installing the server kernel and removing all the Gnome, Unity and X packages.

Then I had another bright idea. I have an Acer Revo running Boxee as a HTPC sitting right next to the server. What if, I thought, I leave the desktop on the server?

If I did that then I could get rid of the Revo and run Boxee directly on the server.


So, off I go to the Boxee site to get the x64 binary and while there I note that they still haven't updated their packages from over a year ago. That's the sort of thing that really annoys me about closed source software but as yet there is nothing open source that is anywhere near as slick as Boxee, so I guess I'm stuck using it for now.

But I digress.

I also note that the Boxee site only specifies packages for Lucid and Maverick, there is no mention of Natty at all. Hmmmm.

Undaunted, I go ahead and download the Maverick deb package.

However, when I go to install the package I strike my next problem;

"Dependency is not satisfiable: libxmlrpc-c3"


A quick google search and I find this site and this site

It seems that some genius at Debian or Ubuntu has decided to rename the package from "libxmlrpc-c3" to "libxmlrpc-c3-0".

I really hate that.

The good news is that you can edit the Boxee deb package to change the dependency so it looks for the new name.

I followed the instructions provided by Maxo but because I was working in a remote ssh session things worked a bit differently. Maxo used Ubuntu Software Centre which worked out all the dependencies for him.

dpkg wouldn't do that. Normally this is OK, because you can simply use apt-get install -f to fix any outstanding unbroken dependencies but in this case all apt-get install -f wanted to do was remove Boxee again. The only way to get things working was to install all the dependencies first and then install Boxee.

Eventually everything worked out OK, and you can do it yourself using the instructions here.

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