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Re: Upgrading ncurses 4 to ncurses 5

From: Thomas E. Dickey
Subject: Re: Upgrading ncurses 4 to ncurses 5
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 13:22:06 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 17 Apr 2001, Miguel Quiros wrote:

>                                 Granada, 17-4-2001
> Hello, I have tried to upgrade ncurses from the version 4.2 (actually running
> in my Red Hat 6.1 system, with kernel upgraded to 2.4.3) to the version 5.2.

Red Hat's rpm versions have little or nothing to do with the release
version of ncurses.  (They continued releasing as "4.2" all versions
through - and even past 5.0 though I informed them about a month before
they released 6.0 that it would only lead to problems such as this).

> I have downloaded the rpm ncurses-5.2-8.i386.rpm and tried to upgrade (rpm -U)
> but rpm complains that there are many packages installed that use the file
> libncurses.so.4 which would be removed from the system if the upgrade is made.

If rpm (both the tool and the package) were designed properly, you would
be able to update ncurses without discarding the older library.  (Perhaps
someone else on the list will point out the proper option to do this -
between the cumbersome option set and the total lack of compatibility
across versions of the rpm tool, I tend to not use it more than absolutely

I've installed both Redhat 6.1 and 6.2 (mainly to see first-hand the
causes of bug reports for Redhat), and installed ncurses 5.x manually,
retaining their configured "4.2" library.

> If if try "rpm -i" instead (so that the file libncurses.so.4 is kept) then rpm
> complains that there are many files of version 4 (in the directories /usr/bin
> and /usr/share/terminfo) that would be overwritten.
> Is it absolutely neccesary to upgrade all packages that use version 4 to 
> install
> version 5 (if so, I would need to reserve a weekend or two for downloading
> and installing such amount of software!).
> If I make "rpm -i", libncurses.so.4 will be compatible with the
> new files in /usr/bin and /usr/share/terminfo?

the terminfo files are upward-compatible (5.0 adds optional support for
extensions to the terminfo format; 5.1 turns that option on by default --
I don't recall exactly what Red Hat did with the choice of configure
options).  The files in /usr/bin and /usr/lib are related of course,
but applications linked against libncurses.so.4.2 will continue to
load properly.

> Is there any other easy solution?
> I have seen a few messages in this mailing-list and it looks like a place for
> developers and compilers, not for a simple linux-user like me (that usually
> does not compile anything and simply downloads and installs rpm's) so, if 
> there
> is a better place to pose this question (or a place with user-level
> information for ncurses) please tell me.
> Just a thinking: if we want to spread the use of linux against other, more
> popular, operating systems, a key subject is to keep (as much as possible)
> backwards compatibility of the new versions of any utility, specially if
> this utility is used by many others.
> Thank you for any help.
> Best wishes,
>         Miguel Quirós
> -------------------------
> Miguel Quirós Olozábal
> Departamento de Química Inorgánica. Facultad de Ciencias.
> Universidad de Granada. 18071 Granada (SPAIN).
> email:address@hidden
> _______________________________________________
> Bug-ncurses mailing list
> address@hidden
> http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/bug-ncurses

T.E.Dickey <address@hidden>

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