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Potato->Woody kernel upgrade problems

A friend of mine who's quite well-versed in handling Linux, but not so
experienced with Debian, tried to upgrade his old Potato system to
Woody. It went quite well as he adhered to the instructions on

Unfortunately, though, the system didn't boot anymore. (Quite a

There turned out to be a number of problems. He had installed a new
kernel, and encountered the following phenomena:
    - crash
    - no disk
    - no net.

The Crash
  Well, simply, it was the wrong kernel. The guide recommends to install
a new kernel with: apt-get install kernel-image-2.4.18-{386,586tsc,686}
However, the system has a AMD K6. Of course it's his fault for choosing
the wrong kernel, but I still think the documentation could be improved
here. It should either list all flavours (if k6 had been mentioned, it
would have been obvious which one was appropriate), or mention that
there a lot of kernels which you can list with dpkg -l kernel-image-2.4.18\*

No Disk
  The old kernel was handcrafted. The new one makes an initial RAM disk
and loads the modules mentioned in /etc/modules. Of course, the disk
driver had been compiled in before. I'm not sure what to do about this.
kernel-image _could_ have warned about the missing SCSI driver, but I
guess it's difficult. Perhaps an even bigger note about the perils of
installing a new kernel?

No Net
  The appropriate alias for eth0 was missing. This is a case of getting
tired with all those "config file was changed by you or a script"
messages when very often you are sure that you didn't touch it. In this
case, a split to "common aliases" and "additional user aliases" in
seperate files would have helped, but I'm not sure about how sensible
this is. Perhaps three-way-diffs in dpkg would be helpful.

So, these kernel problems were the only major things, everything else
quite harmless.


|=| Michael Piefel
|=| Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
|=| Tel. (+49 30) 2093 3831

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