[clug] Advice request on upgrade to Debian Squeeze - local mirrors?

Hal Ashburner hal at ashburner.info
Thu Mar 17 19:09:45 MDT 2011

On 18/Mar/11 11:48 AM, felix.karpfen at gmail.com wrote:
> On Mar 18, 2011 10:15am, Hal Ashburner <hal at ashburner.info> wrote:
> > On 18/Mar/11 9:58 AM, Felix Karpfen wrote:
> >
> >
> > My monthly "broadband" quota is modest and the download speeds are
> >
> > throttled when the quota is exceeded.
> >
> > Change ISP.
> > Change to one that has a debian mirror that is unmetered.
> > (Maybe yours already does and you just don't know it.)
> >
> A drastic remedy - especially as I already have the 8 Squeeze DVSs - 
> ready to install. The aim was to simplify, not to add to my headaches.
There is nothing simpler about using obsolete tech, in general. Network 
installs are the new black.
> I have no evidence that my ISP (TPG) offers a Debian mirror and 
> quota-free downloads The views are mixed of the services that he 
> delivers; see:
> http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1184763
> >
> > . Enjoy the full net install using zero quota that is blindingly 
> fast. Laugh maniacly. Do not skip this last step - it's crucial.
> "Installs" are one thing; they usually work first time; 
> "dist-upgrades" are a different story. I have learned that the 
> recommended "Step 1" (make a full [operational] backup) is the most 
> crucial step in the process. I have yet to score a "dist-upgrade" that 
> worked first time! But I continue to live in hope.

Change your TPG plan, Felix, They offer more quota than you could 
possibly need for cheap.
Their smallest plan is 50G/Month. Plenty for a debian install unless you 
download a boatload of video all day every day.

Dist-upgrades on debian stable have a 100% success rate for me having 
done them countless times. By which I mean well over a hundred. They 
just work. First time, every time. Seriously I've never heard of a 
dist-upgrade on debian stable failing for any reason.

On stable the only packages that will get updated by a dist-upgrade are 
those that require security fixes. Even if something inexplicably 
failed, you have your home directory backed up anyway so you can abandon 
an install and start again if required, right? Right?

If you don't have your home directory backed up they you $%&*#$@ well 
should. Do it now. Do not pass go. Do not think about doing anything 
else with your computer until you've done that. Nothing to discuss, 
nothing to consider other than the how and thanking Mr Murphy you've 
survived this far and requesting he let you off this once. In the words 
of JWZ on this subject "The universe tends to maximum irony."

The answer to the how is rsync and a usb disk. Get a 2.5" usb disk for 
$100 from disk smith (or similar) that's at least 500G.

rsync -av /home/felix /media/usb-disk/

or whatever your usb disk is called under /media, likewise adjust your 
home directory if required yada yada.


Ok so you install your whole system from dvds.
Then add your local mirrors to /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get dist-upgrade.

Only security fixes will come down the wire.

You must still cackle maniacly when you do this, possibly liberally 
using the word "excellent"

use rsync with the arguments reversed to restore your home directory 
from the usb disk.

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