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Re: Squeeze System "Bricked" after Software Upgrades 09/04

On 2010-09-04 18:04 +0200, Gilbert Sullivan wrote:

> I'm going to ask a couple of questions because I'm not quite sure how
> to even research them.
> The situation right now is that the system isn't connected to a
> network. I gather that, in order to downgrade the kernel, I've got to
> manage to connect from a command line interface. Haven't done that
> before in Linux. I use wicd. I'm supposing it's time to do man ifup
> and man ifdown. I think I can get through that.

You could also try wicd-curses if that's installed, or use X with the
vesa driver.  Here's an /etc/X11/xorg.conf for that:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
Section "Device"
	Identifier	"n"
	Driver		"vesa"
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

> However, I've never downgraded a package. From what I can see it looks
> as though 'dpkg -i package.deb' is used, providing I can find out how
> to get the appropriate package.

It gets a bit more complicated if the package to be downgraded has tight
versioned dependencies forcing you to downgrade other packages, but that
is the basic recipe, and it should work in this case.

> I just looked in
> /var/cache/apt/archives and didn't see the previous image in
> there. That would be my fault. I used 'aptitude purge ~c'. Doh! I've
> been blithely doing 'aptitude autoclean' and 'aptitude purge ~c' after
> each set of upgrades all along. I read that that was a good practice
> on the Debian users forum. Eh. Maybe not so much. I've been blindly
> trusting that I would be able to work my way around any new issues
> that came up with package upgrades.

I run "aptitude autoclean" every once in a while, but only when I'm
reasonably sure there are no major problems with the currently installed

> But having my display subsystem blacklisted doesn't seem to be
> something I can work around.
> Do you have any specific suggestions as to how I could go about this?
> Is it time to retire this subnotebook (at least from use with Debian)?

It is a bit early to say this, but users of Intel 8xx graphics have been
hosed for a while due to frequent GPU lockups, and no satisfactory
solution has been found so far.

> I really don't much like the idea of staying locked at an earlier
> linux-image version due to the possibility of related security
> issues. (I guess they're rare, but I'd still prefer to be as
> up-to-date as possible.)

The downgraded kernel has a big security hole already (CVE-2010-2240),
but as long as you don't have malicious local users there is not too
much to worry about.


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