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Re: Long neglected OS ... updating

[ Speaking as someone who re-installs as rarely as possible, and whose
  machines almost all derive (via upgrades like yours) from an install
  from around 2006.  ]

> | The following actions will resolve these dependencies:
> | 
> |       Remove the following packages:                       
> | 1)      aptitude                                           
> | 2)      liblognorm0                                        
> | 3)      libtag1-vanilla                                    
> | 4)      libtag1c2a                                         
> | 5)      synaptic                                           

The list of removed packages is usually the main issue.
You can try "r 1" followed by "n" to see if aptitude finds another
solution that doesn't remove itself, but if it can't find a good
solution, you can go ahead with this and afterwards do an "apt-get
install aptitude".

> |       Keep the following packages at their current version:
> | 6)      gstreamer0.10-plugins-good [Not Installed]         
> | 7)      libcwidget3v5 [Not Installed]                      
> | 8)      libept1.4.16 [Not Installed]                       
> | 9)      libsigc++-2.0-0v5 [Not Installed]                  
> | 10)     libxapian22v5 [Not Installed]                      
> NOTE: I'm a little puzzled at the above (6-10).  Seems to be a bit
> of an oxymoron or something.

Yes, the output sometimes includes things which are just completely irrelevant.
You safely ignore those.

> |       Leave the following dependencies unresolved:         
> | 11)     aptitude-common recommends aptitude                
> | 12)     task-lxde-desktop recommends synaptic              
> | 13)     iceweasel recommends gstreamer0.10-plugins-good    

These are just recommendations (not requirements), so it's safe to leave
those soft dependencies out.  Personally I set

   Aptitude::Recommends-Important "False";

in my /etc/apt/apt.conf because I find I more often than not prefer not
to include the "recommended" packages.

As someone else suggested, you can also try and do it in smaller steps.
E.g. do a "safe-upgrade" first.  Or looking at the list of packages that
are to be upgraded, pick a few important ones and upgrade them
separately.  E.g. I often end up doing

    aptitude install apt

first, and maybe

    aptitude install ssh emacs

later.  For some packages (e.g. "gnome"), upgrading them may end up
performing almost the complete upgrade, tho.


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