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Re: tardy sarge to etch upgrade proceedure

On Mon, Nov 03, 2008 at 08:42:16AM -0600, Mark Copper wrote:
> I, ahem, need to upgrade oldstable to stable, but I cannot update my
> current oldstable system, no longer supported as it is.  How important is 
> it to do that before upgrading?
> I have not used aptitude on this system before.  How important is that?

I'd install aptitude and the aptitude-doc package.  Read the
documentation in the -doc package.  Get aptitude sorted out re what
packages are installed because _you_ want them (manually installed), and
what packages are installed only to satisfy dependancies (Automatically
installed, have and "A" flag in the curses-user-interface).  Turn off
automatic installation of recommends.  Get comfortable with the curses
interface.  This is all in Sarge before you do the jump to Etch.

Print out a list of the packages that you have installed (not
automatically) with 

aptitude search '~i!~M'

Save this with your other backups that you make before you mess with
your system.

> It would be nice to run the upgrade through the screen program.  Is it
> possible to apt-get install screen after apt-get update with etch
> sources but before running upgrade?

Is screen not in Sarge?

What concern does running through screen address?

> Finally, in order to patch a hardware driver, the kernel is custom
> compiled.  That means the kernel will not be upgraded, but that new
> sources will be downloaded.  Right?

Does your box boot a non-patched kernel?  If so, run (and upgrade) with
that then get the sources and fix things after the upgrade is complete.

> Any pointers to post-support documentation or mail-list threads would be
> appreciated.

Check the debian-user list archives for the period when etch went
stable.  ditto the debian-boot list.

Personally, my upgrade from Sarge to Etch died when libc somehow got
corrupted during upgrading.  Nothing seemed to work without libc since
there isn't much on a standard debian system that is statically linked.
I ended up doing a fresh etch install.

Since there is always the possibility of something going wrong during an
upgrade, you should have the installation manual available.

You should read the installation manual for Etch and Lenny before you
begin.  There may be features in etch or lenny that you wish to use that
would be easier to setup from the get-go in a fresh install (e.g. / on
LVM or raid, encrypted partitions (e.g. swap or /home).

Good luck.


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