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apt-get update (was Re: [Gnumed-devel] Gnumed-update)

From: James Busser
Subject: apt-get update (was Re: [Gnumed-devel] Gnumed-update)
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 15:09:14 -0700 (PDT)

On Debian, can a regular user (lacking sudo and root access) update a piece of 
software, i.e. their gnumed-client, or would the user be limited to (for 
example) downloading tarballs?

Does apt-get update <a newer client> cause a loss of the user's prior local 
.config files, or do these get copied into the new client (an answer which 
surely is distro-packager-dependent)?

If ordinarily copied, might they in some scenario need to be *not* copied, in 
case some structure or syntax in the config needs changing (or is this unlikely 
to happen)?

When a user would apt-get-or-equivalent update to a newer gnumed-client, and if 
the newer gnumed client would refuse to run (owing to a wait for a db fixup), 
what would have happened to the old client? Would it have been overwritten?

If we set aside people with the adeptness to run from tarballs, what recourse 
is suggested for the simpler user to recover from a premature apt-get client 
update? Must the user do apt-get remove, and then apt-get install 
the-earlier-version, and then regenerate their local preferences through any 
combination of
- retrieval of .config from a backup
- resave via GNUmed menus any applicable local preferences
- manual editing of the .config file

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