I've searched, there seems to be a missing wiki; there also seems to be no real thread for beginners like me to learn Synaptic.
Check this out, let me know if I have something wrong (I will enable PM to alert me via email). If someone wants to steal it to put on a NEW wiki which stays visible (no rights retained), or, if someone makes the old wiki visible once more and makes my weak attempt look really useless, I can edit this to point to the better option. Or, people can simply add a new post to this thread, to add new features.
Here goes...Synaptic, the package manager (not synaptics, the touchpad driver).
enter root password
wait for Synaptic window to fill up with packages and sections.
Synaptic has 3 frames:
The left side is a list frame, below the list are buttons which control how packages are displayed in the list frame. The buttons offer grouping according to Section, Status or Custom groupings, and also display any search results. The default selection is, IIRC, Sections button, all packages.
The upper right frame displays packages according to the restrictions chosen by the buttons and listed sections of the left frame.
The lower right frame displays information about the package which you select in the upper right frame.
Once Synaptic is loaded:
to keep your system up to date, to install revised packages...
always click on Reload before selecting packages and before "Mark All Upgrades".
click Mark All Upgrades.
If nothing is listed in the upper right frame, AND if the Apply checkmark is not green, then you are not able to update your packages.
You might want to select Status button on the left frame, and then click Installed.
in your right hand frame you will see the upgrades and you can pick by right clicking each update and mark for install.
click on Apply
Then the Summary window pops up, asking if you want to apply the changes.
click OK and watch the show as Synaptic gets your package installed.
Synaptic will keep track of every selection you make.
To add gnome sections of repositories:
A] Test your selected repository to be sure it has testing category:
When the Repositories window opens, scroll up and down to find which repository has a check mark (there should be only one repository that has a checkmark), click on that one.
copy the URI but do not close the repository window, we'll come back to it in a moment.
open a web browser or open a new tab.
Paste the URI into the browser URL navigation field, press enter to visit the repository site.
You are looking at a directory on a server hard disk.
When you get to the website of the repository,
click on pclinuxos
click on 2007
you should see something like:
[DIR] RPMS.extra/ 29-Jun-2009 20:44 -
[DIR] RPMS.gnome/ 23-Apr-2009 10:15 -
[DIR] RPMS.kde/ 25-Jun-2009 07:26 -
[DIR] RPMS.kde4/ 21-Jun-2009 11:02 -
[DIR] RPMS.main/ 29-Jun-2009 19:47 -
[DIR] RPMS.nonfree/ 20-Jun-2009 22:17 -
[DIR] RPMS.testing/ 22-Jun-2009 22:44 -
In the example above, I have access to gnome extra, KDE, KDE4, main and nonfree (the testing section is not a good option for newbies to use, many other forum discussions explain why testing should NOT be tinkered with).
You do not need the browser anymore, but clicking into a directory will show you what Synaptic will have to select from.
Returning to the Synaptic repository window, review the sections line. There may be default selections entered there for such sections as main, gnome, extra and kde, but in this case, we will assume gnome is not listed in Synaptic.
Since you found (or already were told there was) a gnome repository on that particular server, B] manually add the word 'gnome' (without the quotes) to the sections portion of the repositories window.
Be sure the word gnome is separated by a space; if it isn't separated by a space, Synaptic will not understand what you are doing.
Click OK in the repositories window and it will close.
At this point, you should see a message reminding you to reload the repository information.
Before you can find the packages listed in the gnome section, you MUST reload.
So, click reload.
Synaptic will refresh the package list.
Perform a search for the package you are looking for, and if you have done all the above correctly (and maybe you actually searched using the browser and maybe you actually found the package was indeed listed), you should now find, in Synaptic, the package from the gnome section of the repository. Note: if you are told the file is there and yet the browser cannot show it or find it, the package may be hidden. Trust your guru.
STRONG Advice: after you install any testing package and all of the dependencies, be sure to go back into Synaptic - Settings - Repository and remove 'testing' from the repository section, click ok, and once more, reload the repository. You really need to be careful about not using testing packages. Unless you are texstar or the ripper gang.
As I said at the beginning, let me know what I can do to help make this work.
July 01, 2009:
Ok, feedback and the edits affecting this post:
-testing section was not the best idea, agreed. I will choose to add the gnome
section instead of testing.
-wiki... 1] I searched, I found only links to a missing wiki, sorry for that, not my fault there. Good to have the links added in this thread, thanks!
-wiki... 2] wikis are an enigma. Let me explain because the explanation becomes very interesting. ONE discussion you might have about reading the wiki: "if the wiki is newer, then you need to get updated packages". That is a common answer for this situation, often times that works out well, but ... some users only need/want to use/adjust the one exact package they have in their system, and for a number of legitimate reasons.
-wiki... 2a] A buddy of mine has problems getting 41k on his dialup and he has repeatedly tried and cannot get broadband... yeah, too bad, because in his case, he cannot be counted on to download updates (and it is good that he probably won't need them - who would hack a 41k dialup user?). So, yeah, security update is a valid reason for updating a package but no, there are still cases where a user may not need (and/or may not be able) to update that one package (just so the wiki matches the users problem). I know there are some of you who will get all jumpy and say: "this post will become obsolete too, some day!!". But this one post will always discuss the ONE Synaptic version I'm using.... umm. oops.
I'm discussing Synaptic version 0.57.2, PCLinuxOS 2009, updated to June 30, 2009.
-wiki... 2b] Maybe that one package has not been updated in the repo as fast as the package has been revised in the real world. That means the real world wiki discussion is for v2.3.4, but the repo version (and the version we have installed) is v2.0.1. I've just
had that problem with a package in MiniME 2008, last spring - it is a real possibility.
-wiki... 2c] Yeah, update the package (for any reason) is one possible answer, but then again, users never learn to use what they have on their system if they always update their packages and let config scripts reconfigure all the software all the time.
-wiki... 2d] sometimes, updating a package is just not possible for the user due to massive dependency issues. One problem I already went through on a different distro: the package WAS outdated, the repository offered a newer package which required newer kernel headers which need a newer kernel and there was no other kernel in the official repository. And to be frank about it, I simply did not feel like destroying yet another distribution by tinkering with it at the bash prompt.
Ok, enough beating the wiki horse, there are reasons why posting in a wiki is not what I want to do.