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Upgrading from very-old Debian

I've run across someone who says her machine is running Debian
oldoldoldstable or maybe even oldoldoldoldstable, and who consequently
can't upgrade to newer Debian.

I seem to recall that there *is* a way to do step-wise upgrades of such
old systems, i.e. upgrading from oldoldoldoldstable to oldoldoldstable,
then to oldoldstable, then to oldstable, then to stable. However, I'm
stumped as to how to actually get started on doing that.

The last few steps of this are straightforward; oldoldstable is still
available in the repos, as far as I'm aware. The first ones are more of
a problem; if I understand matters correctly, anything prior to
oldoldstable is removed from the live repos, although its .deb files are
still maintained on e.g. snapshot.debian.org. (Which doesn't really
suffice for the equivalent of a dist-upgrade, because you'd have to
manually download all the correct .debs by hand and then install them
with dpkg.)

Is there in fact a way to manage the first steps of this stepwise
upgrade, from one aged-out-of-the-repos release to another?

If so, any pointers to information on how to go about it?

   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw

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