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Avoiding installation trouble (suggested fix)

Hello folks,

I hope I am in the right forum for this. This probably concerns debian-installer.

I've been running several Debian sarge machines originating back from when sarge was in testing stage. Recently I had occasion to install Debian on another machine. I just popped in a netinstall CD and started off like I had many times before.

Soon I ran into trouble. After starting aptitude for the first times, I got into dependency loops that required removal of "essential" packages (I had to type in long sentences to force the installer to do what I wasn't supposed to do). The whole installation process was quite odd and bumpy and very unlike my previous experiences installing Debian. After a few more reboots I suddenly ended up with a kernel-less system whose root partition I couldn't even mount from a rescue CD because I couldn't guess the right kernel parameters for the SATA interface.

In the end I found out what was wrong: I had used an old install CD back from sarge==testing days. My /etc/apt/sources list therefore pointed at "testing" resources which, without a proper "dist-upgrade" (which at no point I had wanted because I wanted a sarge system), couldn't have worked.

After downloading burning a contemporary install CD everything of course went as smoothly as one has come to expect from a Debian system

To come to the end: I think a "sarge" install CD should always stay a "sarge" install CD no matter how old. Anybody wanting to install bleeding-edge systems can be expected to be able to download bleeding-edge install CDs as well, whereas the conservative lazy-ass won't appreciate falling into traps like I did. I'd suggest that there be some kind of check for gross age or version discrepancies between the install CD and the system about to be installed.

Thanks a lot,

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