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Re: Debian Downgrade question


Thanks very much for this. It when mostly as planned. There were two problems that I hit.

 1. There was a problem downgrading passwd---the error message
    said there was a problem over writing /usr/sbin/add-shell.
    The error report indicated that passwd as also in debianutils
    that was also scheduled for installation.  I went to the cache
    directory can installed debianutils by hand with dpkg and
    restarted restarted the process with the command apt-get -f

 2. Then some time later apt-get started getting the error:

      dpkg: config error: unknown option log: Success

    I found a note on the web that recommended removing the
    /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg file.  I just commented out the log line
    in the file and re-issued the apt-get -f install command.

When the install of the packages in the cache finished I went back and re-issued the apt-get -u dist-upgrade. It finished cleanly this time. At this ping my attempt at shutdowning the system just hung. I ended up bringing up another console session, issuing multiple sync's and then punching the reset button. The system came up cleanly.

The only question that I have at this point is should I remove the preferences from /etc/apt? I don't really understand what I did here. Can you point me to a document that describes what you suggested?

Thanks again,


--On Friday, January 20, 2006 10:29:33 PM -0500 James Strandboge <jamie@strandboge.com> wrote:

On Fri, 2006-01-20 at 16:35 -0800, Bill MacAllister wrote:

On one of the debian systems I manage I installed sarge before it was
moved  to stable by referening testing in my sources.list.  I completely
forgot  about this and recently issued an apt-get update; apt-get
upgrade.  The  system continues to work, but has trouble booting now.  I
would like to  revert to the stable tree at this point.  What will
happen if I just modify  the sources.list and issue an apt-get update;
apt-get upgrade at this  point?  Is apt-get smart enough to go back like

Logout of X if you are in it.

Adjust /etc/apt/sources.list to use 'stable' or 'sarge'.

Add this to /etc/apt/preferences:
Package: *
Pin: release a=stable
Pin-Priority: 1001

Run 'apt-get update'

Run 'apt-get -u dist-upgrade'

That last one will downgrade your machine to stable.  Once it is done,
you should reboot.

You will probably have a number of packages left over from testing that
don't exist in sarge, so use deborphan to find out which ones they are,
and manually remove them (or run 'deborphan | xargs dpkg --purge').

I have done the above a couple of times, and if you are running gnome,
you may also want to run:
apt-get remove --purge libglib2.0-0
apt-get install gnome gdm

The first command will pull out almost all gnome apps and libraries, and
the second installs them again.  IIRC nautilus in particular had
problems with downgrading.

James Strandboge

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