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

On Sat, 2010-09-04 at 13:31 -0400, Gilbert Sullivan wrote:
> On 09/04/2010 12:40 PM, Sven Joachim wrote:
> > 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"
> > EndSection
> > --8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---
> >
> Thanks, Sven! I got the Panasonic system connected using ifup, grabbed 
> the 2.6.32-20 linux-image from the snapshot server, and transferred it 
> from the Dell notebook to the Panasonic notebook over the network.
> However, just as I was about to roll up my sleeves and really start 
> messing the system up I got your response. I hadn't even thought about 
> reverting to vesa using /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
> I decided to experiment. The system seems to make an abortive attempt at 
> loading gdm with a different login background from the one I have 
> designated, and then it succeeds! I'm able to boot using the new kernel! 
> Is there any reason why I shouldn't just continue this way (using vesa)?
> I can see that the system is slightly slower than it was, but it 
> honestly isn't enough to bother me. I use these systems strictly for 
> office applications, e-mail, remote access to other systems, and Web 
> browsing. Obviously with no proprietary stuff installed I don't use them 
> for watching movies or playing games online or anything like that.
> > 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'll remember that if I decide to proceed with the kernel downgrade.
> > 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
> > packages.
> Maybe I'll be a little more circumspect about going all the way with 
> upgrades from now on.

Install apt-listbugs.  That way before the packages installs, you will
get a list of reported bugs against that package and you can decide if
you want to continue or not.

> ;-)
> >> 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.
> Yes. This is where I've really been pretty boneheaded. You see, I've 
> seen Intel 8xx graphics users complaining bitterly for quite a while 
> now, but I've never had the least bit of trouble with this system, and 
> it gets used for many hours every day. I imagine I just don't use 
> applications that tend to give rise to GPU lockups, but I'm running Xfce 
> with all of the desktop compositing bells and whistles enabled.
> Anyway, I've just been shrugging my shoulders and figuring that maybe 
> there was something special about this Panasonic's particular 
> implementation of the graphics hardware that wasn't subject to the 
> problems people were seeing. It didn't occur to me that my display 
> subsystem might get blacklisted at some point.
> > 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.
> This is a single-user system, and I'm usually not malicious -- well, not 
> intentionally anyway. As we've seen, sometimes stupidity can accomplish 
> what one might ordinarily be tempted to attribute to malice.
> :-D
> I'm thinking I should just forge ahead using the vesa driver and keeping 
> up with the updates. Do you think that's a tenable approach?
> I really appreciate your help, Sven.


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