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Re: Upgrading from very-old Debian

On Tue, 28 Nov 2017 10:28:57 -0500 The Wanderer <wanderer@xxxxxxxxxxx>

> 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?

Save yourself time and lots of problems, back up your data and do a
clean install of the current Debian release.

To do what you want requires dist-upgrading each release, in
order, one-at-a-time, then troubleshooting each dist-upgrade once
done with no guarantees it will work.  Be sure to read and explicitly
follow the dist-upgrade instructions in the Release Notes for each
release. Many times there are special things that must be done. Just
dist-upgrading from your current old install to Stretch, skipping all
those inbetween is "not recommended," meaning it won't work.

Good Luck