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Life, The Universe & Debian (was Re: Unstable vs. Stable)

On 24 Feb 1997 jghasler@win.bright.net wrote:

> Ed writes:
> > ...once I had a working system of X/lesstif/latex/gcc and a lot of
> > utils I couldn't see the point in upgrading.
> That's fine if you never intend to add any new packages. If you do,
> eventually you will be forced to upgrade do to changes in libc,
> the kernel, perl, etc. It is my understanding from what I've read
> on this list that it is pretty much impossible to upgrade an "old"
> installation like mine without re-installing.

certainly not!

upgrading from an old installation to the latest stable or unstable isn't
as easy as it could & should be but it is fairly straightforward.

The worst you're likely to run into are dependancy problems.  Brute-force
repetition of "Install" followed by "Config" in dselect several times (until
there are no errors reported) will get you through this.

You'll get bored after the 3rd or 5th iteration of this, so then you'll want
to know how to use dpkg.  Just look on the dselect screen, make a note of
which packages are failing because they depend on some other package which
hasn't been installed yet, and install the dependancies by hand with dpkg.

e.g. if several packages require the new libc and several others require
the new perl, then exit to the shell prompt and (assuming you have a
mirror or cd of debian mounted at /debian) type something like: 

   cd /debian/unstable/binary-i386    
       (or cd /debian/stable/binary-i386)
   dpkg -i base/libc5_5.4.20-1.deb interpreters/perl_5.003.07-6.deb

if these also fail because of dependancies (e.g. libc5 may need a newer
ldso) then install them with dpkg too.  Use 'ls' or 'find' to find out the
exact filenames of the packages you want to install - most of them will 
be found in logically sensible directories (e.g. most libraries go in
libs/, interpreters like perl go in interpreters/ etc)

Once you've done that, run dselect and go through the automated Install
again. If necessary, repeat the above until you get a clean (no errors)

It's actually quite straight-forward and simple.  All those error messages
flashing by on the screen make it *look* far more serious a problem than it
really is.

The key thing to remember is "DON'T PANIC!"


(and always know where your towel is)


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