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Re: Upgrading from old Sarge (Testing) to Unstable

> Thanks you all for your replies.
> It sounds like I should stick to stable for now at least (till I get more confident about what I'm doing).
> The package I'm most concerned about upgrading is the kernel. I built this from the sources at kernel.org and used a Debian tool (can't remember the name now) to make a .deb file from it and installed ith with dpkg I think.
> Will doing 'apt-get upgrade' or 'apt-get dist-upgrade' install the default kernel? Will it leave mine in the GRUB menu at least? I'd like to make sure that apt-get doesn't overwrite the kernel with the standard prebuilt one - I presume mine will still be in the GRUB menu at least.
> Thanks,
> Yasir

I recommend using aptitude instead of apt-get, ie. just replace apt-get update by aptitude dist-upgrade. aptitude is said to be better at resolving conflicts and recommendations. Apart from that it might be worthwhile to read the upgrade instructions from woody to sarge as they might apply to some of your packages:


aptitude updates existing software, but doesn't remove any software, ie. your kernel will stay. If you installed it via the debian tools, ie. via a .deb package it will be found in the 'Obsolete and locally created packages' section in aptitude.

You can later install a new kernel or compile a new kernel, but as said in the release info, I strongly recommend to do this in a separate step: use your existing kernel to see if everything works fine; then add an additional kernel. If it continues to work fine, you can remove the old kernel.

Thank you to everyone for replying.

I followed the advice given by Johannes and did aptitude dist-upgrade using


Most things installed ok, but it gave me an error which I'll list below:

<...clip up to this point>
Setting up abiword-common (2.2.7-3sarge2) ...

Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
Ack! Something bad happened while installing packages. Trying to recover:
Setting up kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386 (2.4.27-10) ...
/usr/sbin/mkinitrd: device /dev/hda7 is not a block device
Failed to create initrd image.
dpkg: error processing kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386 (--configure):
subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 9
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of kernel-pcmcia-modules-2.4.27-2-386: kernel-pcmcia-modules-2.4.27-2-386 depends on kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386; however:
 Package kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386 is not configured yet.
dpkg: error processing kernel-pcmcia-modules-2.4.27-2-386 (--configure):
dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:
Reading Package Lists... 0% Reading Package Lists... 0% Reading Package Lists... 6% Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... 0%
Building Dependency Tree... 0% Building Dependency Tree... 50% Building Dependency Tree... 50% Building Dependency Tree Reading extended state information... 0% Reading extended state information... 0% Reading extended state information... 3% Reading extended state information... 63% Reading extended state information Initializing package states... 0% Initializing package states... Done Reading task descriptions... 0% Reading task descriptions... 2% Reading task descriptions... Done

I should say that I originally installed kernel 2.4.x (because it wouldn't boot up when I installed 2.6.x from the Sarge installer) but then I installed 2.6.x myself later, building it myself using make-kpkg. One of the things that changed was that the drive names - I think it might be because of SATA drivers? So for example, /dev/hda became /dev/sda. However, my fstab file still uses hda for some partitions (and still works somehow):

$ cat fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
/dev/hda7 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1
/dev/hda6       none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/sda2       /mnt/c          ntfs    ro,umask=0      0       0
/dev/sda5       /mnt/e          vfat    rw,umask=0      0       0
/dev/hdc        /media/cdrom0   iso9660 ro,user,noauto  0       0
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto  0       0

From above, you can see the / partition is still /dev/hda7 in fstab, even though it should be /dev/sha7.

Should I just change all /dev/hda to /dev/sda and run aptitude dist-upgrade again? Will that fix the problem?

OK - I changed /dev/hda to /dev/sda in /etc/fstab and did dpkg --configure on kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386 and kernel-pcmcia-modules-2.4.27-2-386 (which then worked ok) and then did dpkg --audit and it seems fine now.

I haven't rebooted yet though...

I've rebooted :-) thank you everyone for your help. I might upgrade to Testing soon.


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