Discovering Uninstalled Alternatives for /etc/alternatives

Ric Moore wayward4now at
Fri Aug 26 19:12:06 UTC 2011

On Fri, 2011-08-26 at 15:00 +0100, Smylers wrote:
> Ric Moore writes:
> > On Wed, 2011-08-24 at 10:55 +0100, Smylers wrote:
> > 
> > > Hi there. How do I find out which packages provide an alternative
> > > for a particular entry in /etc/alternatives?
> > > 
> > > For example, I recently spotted that the mutt command uses the
> > > alternatives mechanism. So I wanted to know which other packages
> > > provide a mutt command -- maybe one of those would have something
> > > interesting in that I'd prefer to the Mutt I'm currently using.
> > > 
> > > update-alternatives only lists alternatives that I already have
> > > installed.
> > > 
> > > What I want is a list of all packages that provide a particular
> > > alternative, so that I can consider installing them.

OK, I'm in <shudders> gnome. galternatives on my machine shows up in 
applications/system tools/alternatives configurator

It will deal with what you already have installed. There is nothing out
there that will tell you what will potentially do whatever to
alternatives, shy of magic beans, that >I< know of. If such a beast
existed, it would be the closest thing to computer clairvoyance since
Edgar Cayce. <chuckles> I doubt even one of my computer voodoo chicken
feet would help. But, if I am wrong, it won't be the first time! 

Kalternatives saved my butt dealing with hand installing Java 7. 
It very simply allowed me to edit the existing system references/links
for Java 6 to Java 7, that the script didn't catch and remove old cruft
from OpenJDK 6 that I deleted, and I renamed them just to keep track of
my edits. Useful thing to have when you get jerked enough to go outside
the normal scheme of Ubuntu packages. No, I don't expect Ubuntu 10.04 to
provide me with Java 7. But the speed gain was SO significant, I wish
they would ~consider~ making a back-port. I wouldn't go back to using
Java 6 if I had to be shot, knowing what I know now. :) Ric

My father, Victor Moore (Vic) used to say:
"There are two Great Sins in the world...system tools
..the Sin of Ignorance, and the Sin of Stupidity.
Only the former may be overcome." R.I.P. Dad.
Linux user# 44256 

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