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Re: Upgrading from very-old Debian

On 2017-11-28 at 11:53, Patrick Bartek wrote:

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

A: This isn't me, this is someone I encountered.

B: That's not always a viable option, depending on the circumstances.
It's probably the easier option when it is viable, but that doesn't mean
it should be the only option considered, for cases when something else
may be more viable.

> 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.

Yes, of course. That's established procedure, and it's entirely
reasonable to expect people to follow it. (Is there any reason it
shouldn't work, when it worked for people at the time when those
releases were made?)

> 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.

Of course. That's exactly why accessible repositories containing those
older releases are needed; my question was about how / where to manage
those, and that was answered in the first reply.

   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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