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

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Sat Mar 19 22:51:55 MDT 2011

On Sat Mar 19 18:01:51 MDT 2011 Felix Karpfen felix.karpfen wrote:
> On Sat, 19 Mar 2011 10:31:38 +1100, Scott Ferguson wrote:
>>> - my "Windows Manager" is JWM; I never use either Gnome or KDE;
>> I suspect you mean gdm/kdm/kwin - you will still find that some of the
>> packages from both desktops do not exist in Squeeze.
> I do use "gdm" to boot into "jwm"; the (Debian) description of "jwm" 
> reads:

Now I've just confused things. When I've warned people of the changes
between kde(3.x) and kde4(kde4.x) they've sometimes confused the full
desktop environment with "any" kde3.x packages. eg. Gnome desktop user
upgrading had problems because their (sound) choice of Amarok (kde3.x)
upgraded to kde4.x - and left them unhappy. There are strategies in
place to try and prevent problems (Kaboom etc) but things are not
perfect - hence my parallel/test drive suggestion - particularly
relevant when upgrading an individualised system.

>  JWM is a window manager for the X11 Window System. JWM is written in C 
> and uses only Xlib and (optionally) the shape extension and libXpm. It 
> can support some MWM, GNOME, and WM Spec hints. The menu configuration 
> files are managed in XML format.
>  Compared to other light WM, like Fvwm95, the Jwm consumes about twice 
> less memory while providing the same WM functionality.
>> Given what
>> little you tell of your system (servers? architecture? etc) it's hard to
>> tell if there *is* an upgrade path - hence the parallel install
>> suggestion. 
> My current system is just a simple Lenny desktop; the only upgrade path 
> pointed to http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates.  Does the following 
> tell you enough:
> Version
>   Kernel  Linux 2.6.26-2-486 (i686)

Current for Squeeze is 2.6.32-5

>   Compiled  #1 Wed Jan 26 23:35:57 UTC 2011
>   C Library  GNU C Library version 2.7 (stable)
>   Distribution  Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.2
> Network Interfaces
>   lo  Sent 0.02MiB, received 0.02MiB (
>   eth0  Sent 1.09MiB, received 4.99MiB (

Not really, though it's not that important - only you know what "tweaks"
you've made over the years to config files, and whether you've build in
stuff from non-stock repositories, or what new stock kernel won't
support.... though the "-486" (i686) bit raises an eyebrow :-)

I've upgraded apache based servers without issue, but Metasploit prefers
to run on Lenny for the time being - likewise video editing tools. Where
you might run into problems is if you're currently using non-free
drivers, or with old kde apps that haven't made it into kde4 or are
having problems with dbus. Note - I don't have much experience with
gnome, so I can't tell you which changes to gnome cause problems.

> One of my many deviations. I use lilo; I find it easier to configure. I 
> am hoping that I will have made the correct adjustments to my /etc/
> lilo.conf before I reboot.
>> Note: that I suggest caution because I have several instances where
>> upgrading to Squeeze will break what works under Lenny
> According to the release notes, that includes the Linux kernel!  Hence I 
> am checking at each step on the way.

There's only two steps really :-p
Upgrade apt && kernel
Reboot and try upgrade the whole system

>> I *used* to use DVDs, but they're always out of date, 
> Not if you source them from the US.  I have received the DVDs for Debian 
> 6.0.0 about one week ago; Debian 6.0.1 has been released today.  I 
> normally run "security upgrades" every week; I rely on the DVDs for all 
> other packages. 

<nod> 100+ new updates this morning for KDE alone - makes much of your
DVDs out of date...

>> 8 DVDs... straight forward..? :-)
>> The first time you do decide to upgrade/dist-upgrade from the 'net
>> you'll lose those lovely apt-cdrom add entries...
> That puts the nails in the coffin!

It doesn't always break you apt-cdrom entries, and they are simple
enough to re-add (# apt-cdrom add)

> The alternative upgrade option is too frightening to contemplate!
>> Please post your experiences.
> OK.
> So far, I have crashed at Stage 1!
> After consulting the "release notes", it appears that their suggested 
> size for "Cache-Limit" in "/etc/apt/apt.conf" is too small for Squeeze.  
> By trebling that size, I successfully added the 8 DVDs to my 
> "sources.list" and had their presence recognised by "apt-get" and 
> "aptitude".

I've not had any problems perhaps the cache-limit changed as part of
upgrading - my the apt cache for the DVDs shouldn't be any larger than
the one for the online repositories...

Your fully upgraded machine will not be much larger than your current
one - probably less than 2GB (hence my earlier jigdo suggestion).

While it's nice to have all those DVDs on hand - it's <$30 to download
all the freshly baked goodness you need (and if you're running update
accelerator on your firewall, you'll only download packages the once)

> Unscrambling this mess kept me entertained for an afternoon; I am now 
> catching my breath before starting on the next stage of the "dist-
> upgrade".

You've updated the sources.list (changed Lenny to Stable)
Then "upgraded"
*Then* "dist-upgrade" right??

> Felix
> -- 
> Felix Karpfen
> Public Key 72FDF9DF (DH/DSA)

It doesn't seem like you're going to have a problem - losing data is
very unlikely - and backups will save you from losing configs

Sorry if my posts sound negative - generally the upgrade path is smooth,
and all of the changes are for the better. (I still dislike plasma for a
general desktop - but love it for netbooks, and dbus is to be embraced).


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