I'm running Debian sid and want to use TeX Live from CTAN. So I didn't install the Debian texlive-packages, but created a virtual local package with equivs. You can find the control file below:

Section: misc
Priority: optional
Standards-Version: 3.9.4

Package: texlive-local
Version: 2014-1
Maintainer: Jens Kubieziel <jens@kubieziel.de>
Provides: chktex, biblatex, biblatex-dw, cm-super, cm-super-minimal, context,
 dvidvi, dvipng, feynmf, fragmaster, jadetex, lacheck, latex-beamer,
 latex-cjk-all, latex-cjk-chinese, latex-cjk-chinese-arphic-bkai00mp,
 latex-cjk-chinese-arphic-bsmi00lp, latex-cjk-chinese-arphic-gbsn00lp,
 latex-cjk-chinese-arphic-gkai00mp, latex-cjk-common, latex-cjk-japanese,
 latex-cjk-japanese-wadalab, latex-cjk-korean, latex-cjk-thai, latexdiff,
 latexmk, latex-sanskrit, latex-xcolor, lcdf-typetools, lmodern, luatex,
 musixtex, passivetex, pgf, preview-latex-style, prosper, ps2eps, psutils,
 purifyeps, t1utils, tex4ht, tex4ht-common, tex-gyre, texlive, texlive-base,
 texlive-bibtex-extra, texlive-binaries, texlive-common, texlive-extra-utils,
 texlive-fonts-extra, texlive-fonts-extra-doc, texlive-fonts-recommended,
 texlive-fonts-recommended-doc, texlive-font-utils, texlive-formats-extra,
 texlive-games, texlive-generic-extra, texlive-generic-recommended,
 texlive-humanities, texlive-humanities-doc, texlive-lang-african,
 texlive-lang-all, texlive-lang-arabic, texlive-lang-cjk, texlive-lang-cyrillic,
 texlive-lang-czechslovak, texlive-lang-english, texlive-lang-european,
 texlive-lang-french, texlive-lang-german, texlive-lang-greek,
 texlive-lang-indic, texlive-lang-italian, texlive-lang-other,
 texlive-lang-polish, texlive-lang-portuguese, texlive-lang-spanish,
 texlive-latex-base, texlive-latex-base-doc, texlive-latex-extra,
 texlive-latex-extra-doc, texlive-latex-recommended,
 texlive-latex-recommended-doc, texlive-luatex, texlive-math-extra,
 texlive-metapost, texlive-metapost-doc, texlive-music,
 texlive-omega, texlive-pictures, texlive-pictures-doc, texlive-plain-extra,
 texlive-pstricks, texlive-pstricks-doc, texlive-publishers,
 texlive-publishers-doc, texlive-science, texlive-science-doc, texlive-xetex,
 thailatex, tipa, tipa-doc, xindy, xindy-rules, xmltex
Architecture: all
Description: My local installation of TeX Live 2013.
 A full "vanilla" TeX Live 2013

I used equivs-build to create the Debian package and installed it. However when I open apt-get, aptitude or other package managers I get the following message:

W: Ignoring Provides line with DepCompareOp for package texlive-latex-base

It advises to call apt-get update which I did, but the message stays. Why does this message appear and what can I do to correct this warning?

The package texlive-latex-base not installed:

> apt-cache policy texlive-latex-base
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: 2013.20140215-1
  • You said "I left the Debian texlive-packages where they are". I don't understand. You have installed the TeX Live packages from CTAN, and you also have the Debian TeX Live packages installed? Why? The error you are seeing is generally when one is using a versioned Provides, which is a no-no according to Debian policy. But I don't see that in the Control file you have provided. BTW, it is better if you just include the full paste in your question, and not point to some external paste site. It is Ok if the paste is a little long. Feb 12, 2014 at 9:38
  • why do you need to create the virtual package? do you need to satisfy any dependencies? if so, are there any versioned dependencies you need to satisfy?
    – umläute
    Feb 12, 2014 at 10:00
  • 1
    @umläute The virtual package is so that dpkg thinks that those packages are installed, though the poster actually has a local install of TeX Live. The poster is probably using tug.org/texlive/debian.html as a reference. See the section "Integrating vanilla TeX Live with Debian" Feb 12, 2014 at 10:03
  • @FaheemMitha i know what virtual packages are typically used for: to satisfy dependencies of (or state dependencies on) other packages. so the question is: why does the OP need this? the package manager need not be aware of software installed into /usr/local for instance...
    – umläute
    Feb 12, 2014 at 10:12
  • @umläute so that he can install Debian binary packages which require TeX Live packages as dependencies. Feb 12, 2014 at 10:13

1 Answer 1


The reason for the message is that, prior to Debian 8, versioned provides weren’t supported. texlive-latex-base has versioned dependencies on a number of packages provided by your texlive-local package, but because those packages are provided, they can’t (couldn’t) satisfy the versioned dependencies.

Since dpkg 1.17.11, provided packages can specify versions and thus satisfy versioned dependencies. You do this by declaring Provides: chktex (= 1.6.4-4) etc. (the version is just an example, matching Wheezy).

Debian control file "Provides" does not satisfy dependency has more details.

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