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Re: Updated Release-Notes

On Sat, 10 Apr 1999, Bob Hilliard wrote:

>      I have updated Release-Notes to describe multi-cd installation
> and to mention install.txt.  I would like someone from the cd group
> and from the apt group to comment on the accuracy of my changes.
>      The updated Release-Notes is available at
> ~hilliard/upgrade-older-i386 on master and at
> www.debian.org/~hilliard/Release-Notes.

Some general comments on the entire document, and the apt upgrade method
in particular. As a Dutch Debian vendor, I figured out how to do it some
time ago (was just going to mail debian-cd about it). With the CDs I sell,
I include a sheet with "upgrading instructions" (in Dutch); most comments
below result from a comparision.

  `apt' is now the officially blessed package installation tool

Really? apt for slink does not have multi-cd capabilities, so "everyone"
uses dpkg-multicd, which definitely is not apt. (Better leave it this way,
however. Or "_a_ officially blessed"...)

  but still may be sketchy for non-x86 architectures, help
  is still needed)

Twice `still'... maybe better remove the second(?) one.

  read the
  installation manual, which is available on the Internet at

I think ".../install.txt or .html" is better understandable for the
novice user that doesn't know "regular" expressions.

  it is recommended that
  you check the status of all packages first. This can be done by `dpkg
  -l | less' or `dpkg --get-selections > filename', or it can be done
  in `dselect'.

Many users I know either don't know or don't like the dpkg commandline.
Better mention `dselect' first.

  Holds can be removed in dselect,

`dselect' needs quotes.

       apt-get update
       apt-get -f dist-upgrade

I advise users to `apt-get -f --dry-run dist-upgrade | less' prior to
the actual upgrading, to see what will happen. And then a `less
typescript' on another virtual console is very nice to follow the
upgrading process.

  If new versions of packages currently installed are available,
  `apt-get' upgrade retrieves and upgrades them;

Shouldn't it be (note the quotes) `apt-get upgrade' ? But you didn't
mention `upgrade', only `dist-upgrade'...

  `/etc/apt/sources.list', add as the first line after the instructional

The other `deb' lines should be commented out by placing a `#' before

  Then insert CD #1, update and dist-upgrade as above.

Better call CD#1 "the Binary-1 CD", and so on. They are known by those

You should mount the CD first.

And repeat the exact commands, to save the user some unnecessary
searching, like
"Then insert the Binary-1 CD, mount it, and run
          apt-get update
          apt-get -f dist-upgrade"
(maybe with a --dry-run in between).

After upgrading from the Binary-1 CD and having it still mounted, it's
a good idea to install dpkg-multicd, with a command like
  "apt-get install dpkg-multicd"
(multicd is needed further on).

  Then replace
  CD#1 with CD#2, add contrib to the deb file: line in sources.list, and

Much clearer: "If you _have_ a Binary-2 CD, unmount the Binary-1 CD,
replace it with the Binary-2 CD, and mount that one. Then change the line
in `/etc/apt/sources.list' to be
       deb file:<cd_mount_point>/debian stable main contrib
and repeat the update and dist-upgrade steps, as shown above."

And various vendors (like me) have a third CD:
"If you have an Unofficial CD containing the `non-free' and/or `non-US'
sections, insert that CD and mount it. Then edit the line in
`etc/apt/sources.list' to be
  deb file:<cd_mount_point>/debian stable non-free non-US
(maybe omiting `non-free' or `non-US') and repeat the update and
dist-upgrade steps."

"After upgrading, unmount the last cdrom but leave it in the CDROM drive.
Then start `dselect'. [A]ccess, choose the `multi_cd' install method, give
the correct /dev-name and Enter on all following questions (the last
Binary CDROM should be in the drive when doing this!). [U]pdate. [S]elect,
press Shift-D followed by Enter immediately, and also Enter in the
dependency resolution screen. Then [I]nstall, and change CDs as indicated.
After Install, another [C]onfigure is usually needed. Finally [Q]uit.
There's your Debian 2.1 system, without reboot!"

This `dselect' step is necessary for the new X packages (and some others). 
Successfully tested multiple times on multiple configurations. (Not by me,
but by my customers ;-) 

  As soon as you enter ``Select'' you should press _Enter_ immediately

Oh no! This will install all kinds of packages that I don't like! Press
Shift-D before the Enter!

And by the way, the Pre-Depends handling of dpkg is still somewhat buggy
(#35654 - it has to do with `normal' Depends of Pre-Depended packages). It
might be wise to add a clear warning for this.

  After that you may use the
  ``Select'' and ``Install'' modules

Maybe better "options" instead of "modules".

  upgrade your machine from the Linux virtual console

Maybe better: from _a_ Linux virtual console. There's only one _real_
console, but multiple _virtual_ consoles. Even better: "from a text mode
virtual console".

  1.   The `xbase' should be removed. Leaving it in place will make it
       necessary to supply the `--force-depends' option to dpkg to

If I understand things correctly, xbase should be removed only _after_
the upgrade. But this is not clear from the text.

  NOTE: There is some overlap between this section and section 3.1

Sould be "section 4.1".

Two final notes. I once upgraded from 1.3.1 to 2.0, and got some
"temporary" harddrive failure (afterwards it worked correctly, still
does). As far as I could tell, some important data (superblocks or the
like) got mangled. Due to the upgrading, enormous amounts of data were
swapped off and on the disk, all with errors. This resulted in a
completely unuseable system -- even numerous files in /home (same
partition) were damaged. I was _very_ happy that I'd burnt a .tgz on a
CD-R before the upgrade. So, I think it is a good idea to recommend a full
backup before upgrading, not because of software problems, but rather
because hardware problems during a mass upgrade may result in disasters.

Second: /upgrade-2.0-i386 on the 2.1r0 CD has only some apt packages, and
no instructions whatsoever. This is very confusing. Better include a
`README-upgrade-2.0' that says "Please refer to ../Release-Notes for
upgrading procedures".

That's all for now. If things are not clear, please contact me. I'd like
to stop putting my "unofficial upgrading instructions" along with the CDs,
but only when the official docs are better than mine ;-)

  Anne Bezemer

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