libc5 to libc6: purge or install *-dev?
The key document for upgrading from stable "bo" to unstable "hamm" is
libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt. I have botched the upgrade from rex to bo, and
the upgrade from bo to hamm. I botched the upgrades because I installed
programs from the unstable version over several months successfully, then one
day installed a key program like "dpkg" without looking for or noticing any
upgrade notes. The web page entrance into the packages,
"could therefore break your system"
This message could be more helpful. How about a link to
Also, how about putting in the file /debian/hamm/.message a warning as one
enters this unstable directory via ftp. Again, such a warning ought to
mention libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt. Since this file is so crucial to moving
from bo to hamm, please consider making a link to it with a more eye-catching
name like README.UPGRADE-WARNING. Another useful comment in
libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt might be something like "You will probably not
completely ruin your current Debian distribution by installing from the hamm
distribution, unless you install ldso, bash, libc, or dpkg."
In the debian-users mail-list, one person followed libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt
by trying to purge all *-dev packages, but zhe ran across so many dependencies
that zhe stopped. I tried the same with futility. Is it really necessary to
purge the *-dev packages? Can't everyone just find the appropriate package to
upgrade these *-dev packages, then install them as a way to rid the old *-dev
Also, not all packages in development directories have *-dev endings. Should
your comment in section "3" of your document refer not just to *-dev packages
but also to any package in a development directory? For example, I suppose no
major problems arise from the old
If other development packages are not so critical, you might state that.
Your libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt saves many people from ruinning their
operating systems. A few changes could save a few more people. When a person
ruins zher operating system by badly adding packages from hamm, zhe consumes
weeks of time. You might save tens of people a hundred wasted hours each.
Jim Burt, NJ9L, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
"If merely 'feeling good' could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely
valid human experience." --William James, Varieties of Religious
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